Kakodkar does not want to speculate on outcome of nuclear deal

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Walchandnagar, Maharashtra, Nov 25 (UNI) Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman Anil Kakodkar today said he would not speculate on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations of the nuclear deal with the US in respect of ''India-specific safeguards''.

The negotiations between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) started on November 21 in Vienna on putting Indian reactors under IAEA safeguards. The end result of talks would clear a key hurdle in the US-Indian nuclear supply pact.

Talking to reporters here, Dr Kakodkar, who just returned from Vienna after beginning the process of discussions at IAEA, said this (negotiation) was a complex exercise and would take some time to sort out. He declined to specify the time that it may take.

''We have to satisfy all questions and consider all apprehensions on the issue of safeguards that include a number of elements,'' he said without giving details.

He said the 123 agreement has to be cleared by the US Congress, while the bilateral issues, meetings for the operationalisation of the deal and clean exemptions have still to happen.

When asked whether India will be allowed to conduct nuclear tests, the Chairman did not reply but said India had facilities and the previous testings were ''facility specific'. He, however, welcomed the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) and China's support, saying that there was positive approach.

When asked about the next round of talks, he said they would be held after 10 days.

Asked if the negotiations were working out properly and how much power genertaion could be expected within how much time, the Chairman said all elements had to be worked out first and nothing could be speculated.

Earlier, Mr Kakodkar, who was the chief guest for the centenary celebrations of Walchand Industries Ltd and the 125th birth centenary of Seth Walchand Hirachand, said during their national science talent search, they found immense potential in students in rural areas.

''We need to provide better educational facilities and financial assistance so that they serve here and are restricted from migrating. Indian students have created an impact around the world, but they must stay here and make an impact,'' he opined.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of Walchand Industries Chakor Doshi said the Rs 637 crore Walchand Industries had turned around and registered a 75 per cent growth over the previous year.

''Around 12-15 per cent of the revenue comes from defence supplies that include equipment in high tech areas, heavy engineering. The company is doing business in sugar, cement, propulsion gear boxes for ships, converting solid waste to power in Hyderabad and another plant is coming up in Karnataka, and several other new projects in allied areas of the company are on the anvil,'' he added.

UNI

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