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US companies to decide on establishing atomic power plants in India by their own now

Washington DC(AFP/PTI): A day after India and the US reached an understanding on resolving the logjam in implementing the landmark civil nuclear deal, a senior White House official said on Monday it is for private American firms to make their determination with regard to establishing atomic power plants in India.

“The two governments have reached an understanding; they’ve reached an agreement about how to resolve the issues that have been I think a break and a logjam for the last several years,” White House Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes told US reporters travelling with Obama. “When you look at the administrative arrangement that we’ve reached an understanding on, this will provide for the necessary information sharing and contact between the two governments, for us to feel like we can move forward in implementing the 123 Agreement,” he said.

“On the issue of liability, the Indians have put forward an approach in which they’re creating an insurance pool, and committed financial resources to that pool that will mitigate risk for companies that are doing business here in India,” Rhodes said. “In terms of the two governments, we believe that we have reached an understanding on these critical issues that have been an impediment to moving forward in the last several years. At the same time, it’s ultimately up to US companies to make their own determinations about whether and when to invest in India and to move forward,” Rhodes said.

“In terms of the work that the governments have done together through a contact group the two leaders empowered here, we believe that this was a significant breakthrough and we now have the framework to move forward in implementing the 123 Agreement,” he said in response to a question. A contact group formed by the two countries after the September 30 Obama-Modi meeting at the White House met three times to resolve the impending issues related to the civil nuclear deal.

“The Indians certainly came to the table with increased information-sharing and exchanges that met our concerns. I don’t think this is a contest of wills, but I do think that it was important for these additional understandings to be worked out in terms of increased information-sharing and understanding of how information will be provided, and also this insurance pool that could mitigate risk. “I think these are concepts that were fleshed out over the course of the last three meetings of this contact group,” he said.

Rhodes appreciated the leadership of Modi in resolving the issue. “We appreciate the leadership that Prime Minister Modi showed in getting this done, building on the work of the previous government but, enabling us to get over the hurdle. But we also wanted to find a way through this,” he said. “We wanted to reach an understanding that was acceptable to both countries to allow us to move forward with the agreement and our broader relationship,” Rhodes said.

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