The 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on Saturday decided to lift a 34-year-old ban on nuclear trade with New Delhi, a crucial step to finalise the US-India civilian nuclear accord. After the ratification and completion of some procedural aspects India can have dealings with other countries, said Mukherjee on the sidelines of a 26th Meeting of Ministers of Health from the countries of South East Asia Region (SEAR) and 61st Session of Regional Committee of South East Asia Region of WHO.
"Now we are to wait for the ratification of the 123 agreement between India and USA which has been initialed. After ratification along with the two other documents which the US congressmen required for their consideration before ratification of 123 agreement that is India specific safeguards agreement approved by the Board of Governors of International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA), amendment to NSG guidelines by providing waiver to India and after the ratification certain other procedural aspects are to be completed .After that we would be able to enter into bilateral agreement with other countries." Mukherjee said. After two weeks of feverish meetings and long-distance consultations, resistance to the exemption finally crumbled when six holdout states accepted an Indian declaration on Friday reinforcing a commitment to a voluntary test moratorium.
On August 1, IAEA approved an inspections plan for some, but not all, of India nuclear facilities.
Washington and some allies assert the US-India deal will move the world's largest democracy toward the non-proliferation mainstream and fight global warming by furthering the use of low-polluting nuclear energy in developing economies.
However, sceptics note India has signed no treaties meant to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, phase out stockpiles and ban testing.