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6 Indian N-facilities off US Entity List
August 31, 2005 20:16 IST
In a significant step that would help increase the Indo-US high-technology trade, the United States has removed six Indian nuclear and space facilities from its restricted Entity List.
The removal of the six Indian facilities from the Department of Commerce's Entity list is expected to reduce the number of licence applications for exports and re-exports to India and increase high-technology trade between the two countries, an official statement said.
The move follows the signing of the landmark civilian nuclear energy pact between the two countries during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit in Washington last month.
The entities removed from the list included the Department of Atomic Energy facilities at Tarapur, Rajasthan and Kudankulam.
The other three are Indian Space Research Organisation subordinate entities, specifically, the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvananthapuram, and the Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, the statement said.
The ruling allowing removal of export and re-export licence requirements for the six Indian facilities became effective from Tuesday.
In addition to removing the six facilities from the Entity List, the US Federal Register also published a ruling by Matthew S Borman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration of Department of Commerce, authorising removal of licence requirements for exports and re-exports of items controlled unilaterally by US for nuclear non-proliferation reasons -- items that are not subject to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) regime -- to India.
This step was taken as part of the completion of the US-India Next Steps in Strategic Partnership, the statement said.
Welcoming the announcement, US Ambassador to India, David Mulford, said in New Delhi: "This is a tangible result that delivers on President (George W) Bush's commitment to strengthen strategic and commercial relations between the United States and India."
The practical effect of the US step would be to reduce the number of licence applications for exports and re-exports to the six facilities, the statement said.
Tarapur and Rajasthan facilities are under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Kudankulam 1 and 2 is under construction and will be placed under safeguards when completed, the statement noted.