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Rediff.com  » News » Time to lift uranium supply ban on India: Aussie PM

Time to lift uranium supply ban on India: Aussie PM

November 15, 2011 10:13 IST

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday made a strong pitch for uranium sale to India, saying the time has come to lift the long-standing ban on its exports to the dynamic and democratic country.

Gillard said she will urge the party faithful at next month's Labour National Conference to reverse a ban on uranium exports to India, bringing Australia into line with America's thinking, 'The Age' newspaper reported.

"India is our fourth biggest export markets, a market worth nearly $16 billion to Australia, with enormous potential to grow as India becomes wealthier," Gillard said.

"As India rises and brings hundreds of millions of people out of poverty it will need more energy," she said.

"We are a very big supplier of uranium so having access to this new and growing market is good for Australian jobs," she said

Australia is the world's third largest supplier of uranium, which contributed more than $750 million to the economy and created more than 4200 jobs.

India was expected to increase its use of nuclear power from the current 3 per cent of electricity generation to 40 per cent by 2050.

Gillard said lifting the ban was another step forward in Australia's relationship with India.

It came at a time when Australia faced a unique set of opportunities in what she called the "Asian century".

"India as a rising giant will be part of that strong economic growth," she said.

"Put simply, our best possible partnership with India is also good for Australian jobs."