China not to obstruct Indo-US N-deal: PM

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On Board Air India One, Jan 16: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said, he had not given up hope on the Indo-US nuclear deal and exuded cofidence that ''he will be able to convince those opposing it.'' He broached the issue of China's support to India's cause in the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) and visualised no obstacles.

''I cannot say that I got a firm and definite answer but my own feeling is that the relationship of trust and confidence is now establishing and we are succeeding in that. ''When the issue comes before the relevant agencies, I don't think that China will be an obstacle. I cannot say that I have an assurance today.'' Asserting that time was running out for the much-publicised deal, Dr Singh admitted that there were problems, but the government was working hard to sort out them.

''There are problems but efforts are on and I have not lost hope,'' Dr Singh said while answering questions about the Left allies' opposition to the deal and the datelines fixed by the IAEA for negotiations.

On growing opposition by the supporting parties on the nuclear deal, the Prime Minister said it was a Parliamentary democracy and the government had to take decision by mutual cooperation. About the IAEA's deadline for the deal, Dr Singh said there was no deadline and the govt had already made progress to take the pact forward.

On trade related issues discussed in China, Dr Singh said, ''In the course of discussion areas and factors which hampered trade flow, the Chinese side raised economic market status to them, while India took up non-trariff barriers, restrictions on exports and imports of agricultural goods''. The Commerce ministers of both the countries had been asked to examine this issues, while going through the joint working group report on RTA (Regional Trade Agreement).

Mr Singh said the bilateral trade target has been revised to 60 billion US dollars from 40 billion by 2010.

In a reply to a question about possible increase in pretrol prices in the cabinet meeting of January 17, Dr Singh said he has not seen the agenda, as far as the decision is concerned nothing is decided and all factors will be consider before revising the price.


UNI

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