Indo-US nuke deal goes beyond politics, says Praful Patel

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Ahmedabad, Nov 22 (UNI) Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today said the Indo-US nuclear treaty should not be used for an acerbic debate in Parliament as it has larger international ramifications.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Confluence-2007 'India Towards Economic Leadership' at the IIM-A here this evening, Mr Patel said, ''Today, we talk of the Indo-US nuclear treaty. Politics should not have come into it. The treaty should not be used for an acerbic debate in the Parliament. This has a larger international ramification.'' The Minister emphasised on the benefits that could accrue from the deal in the country's march towards progress.

''We need to look at our own development. Let us shun divisive appeal. We have to ensure our energy security,'' he said.

Stressing that India functions in classical style with the left hand not knowing what the right hand does, he said the problem is how to get out of the mindset. Infrastructure holds the key to development when we see that 70 per cent of rural people living on 25 per cent GDP growth.

Analysing the lacunaes in the growth structure, Mr Patel recalled the reforms in power sector, saying when the reforms were first started the country had overlooked a crucial aspect of transmission and distribution (T&D). Private sector was allowed to generate power, though no proper thought was given to T&D. Today there is shortage of one lakh mega watt of power.

''We missed the bus long ago. Today, every industry complains that power in this country is exorbitantly high,'' he said.

''Today every port in the country is choc-a-bloc. There is poor dispersion of cargo. Cargo-handling is done in a primitive style. If the nation has to make quick progress, it needs to be brought back on track,'' Mr Patel said.

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