US notification to lift ban on ISRO, DRDO soon

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 14 (PTI) US has set in motionregulatory changes to lift the ban on India''s frontlinetechnology establishments ISRO and DRDO and their removal fromthe entities list could come soon, top American officials haveindicated.

A formal notification of US Department of Commerce forthis is in advanced stage, they said.

"These regulatory changes will begin thetransformation of the bilateral export control policies torealise the full potential of the strategic partnershipbetween our two countries," Eric Hirschhorn, Under Secretaryfor Industry and Security, US Department of Commerce, toldPTI.

But he did not give any time line for the removal ofrestrictions, which is eagerly awaited in India.

However, official sources said a formal notificationin this regard could well be issued before the scheduled Indiavisit of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke from February 6-11.

"The Department of Commerce is working quickly topublish a regulation that will remove Indian space anddefence-related entities from the Entity List and enact otherIndia-specific export control changes," a senior US officialsaid.

They clarified these notifications would be Indiaspecific.

"We have a separate track on these issues inpartnership with India," another Administration official said.

"As you''ll recall, in New Delhi, the Presidenttogether with the Prime Minister announced a resolution ofunilateral export control issues and the President announcedhis support for India in multilateral fora. That has notchanged and we continue to move forward on those steps," theofficial said.

Obama, during his India visit, had assured India thathe would remove these companies from the entities list.

"Commensurate with India''s nonproliferation record andcommitment to abide by multilateral export control standards,the US will remove all civil space and defence-relatedentities from the Department of Commerce "Entity List."

"Inclusion on this list generally triggers an exportlicense requirement when exported," said a fact sheet issuedby the White House during the Obama visit. (More) PTI LKJ AKD

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