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Efforts on to clear 123 agreement by business community

September 08, 2008 18:17 IST

After a waiver granted by the Nuclear Suppliers Group to India, the US-Indian Business Council will lobby hard to convince some hardliners to get the 123 agreement cleared in the current Congressional session beginning on Monday.

It would be ideal to get the civilian nuclear deal passed during this Congress, beginning on Monday, to give opportunities to the American companies, Vice-Chairman, American-International Group, Franck G Wisner said in his interaction session with top representatives of the Indian business community inn Mumbai on Monday.

"However, we face some problems in terms of calender--as it will not be possible to get the required 30 day period to ratify the agreement," Wisner said. The business community in the US has invested heavily in convincing the Congressmen to bring a unanimous consent on the waiver within 30 days, Wisner said. The session could be extended upto October 4, he said.

"It is going to be tough but we are trying," he said. Replying to a query regarding the investment, Wisner said that it was not the quantum of investments, but the commitment of the business community working singlemindedly on the issue.

"If we are not successful by October 4, then it will be introduced in the `lame duck' session in December," he said.

Wisner said that before going to Congress, there is a need for Presidential determination -- that is to verify whether the conditions laid down in US legislation Hyde Act of 2006 are met in the IAEA India-specific safeguards and the waiver given to India by the Nuclear Suppliers Group last week.

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