Source: News Bharati English20 Jul 2016 15:33:03

New Delhi, July 20: In a major move, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India remains engaged with all Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) members for an early decision on its membership of the elite group and stated that India will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Swaraj said China had questioned how a non-signatory to NPT could become a member of the NSG and stated that India’s application was preceded by extensive technical outreach with the NSG in Vienna. 

"India submitted an application for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on 12 May 2016 reflecting the progress in its engagement with the NSG that began in 2004. The application was preceded by extensive technical-level outreach with the NSG in Vienna. Government also reached out at the senior official and political level to all NSG members in their capitals", she added.

Swaraj said New Delhi also reached out to all NSG members in their capitals at the senior official and political levels. She said, China’s objection to the membership was procedural as India is not a signatory to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT. She maintained that India will never sign the NPT but it stands for its commitment. The Minister also said India is in the continuous engagement with China over the NSG issue and one should not stop its efforts after being failed in one attempt.

Swaraj said that it is important for us to be part of the “rule making” in the NSG rather than be in a position of “rule taking”. "Membership of the NSG would enable India to have enhanced and uninterrupted access to nuclear technology, fuel and materials required for its expanding civil nuclear programme. It would create a predictable environment for the large investments required for setting up nuclear power plants in India, inter alia, to meet India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) pledge of 40% of its power capacity coming from non-fossil sources by 2030", she further added.

Swaraj also credited the previous UPA government for getting the waiver and said while the UPA government followed the commitments; the present government is following the same since it came to power in 2014.  She said membership of the NSG would enable India to have enhanced and uninterrupted access to nuclear technology, fuel and material required for expanding its civil nuclear programme. "It would create a predictable environment for large investments required for setting up nuclear power plants in India, inter alia, to meet India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) pledge of 40 per cent of its power capacity coming from non-fossil sources by 2030," she said.

"It would create a predictable environment for large investments required for setting up nuclear power plants in India, inter alia, to meet India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) pledge of 40 per cent of its power capacity coming from non-fossil sources by 2030," she said.

The Minister said that recent efforts have actually opened the door for the membership and stated that the attempt should not be seen as its diplomatic failure. Sushma Swaraj rejected the accusation of creating hype over the issue saying full efforts should not be called as creating hype. Last month, India failed to join the 48-nation grouping during the two-day NSG plenary in Seoul in the face of China-led opposition.