The US President Barak Obama is visiting India from November 7 to 10. He is bringing with him a large mass of business people, leaders of big companies to sign contracts with Indian counterparts.
The US had reached an agreement with India making both countries partners of a ‘strategic alliance,’ back in 2005. It had concluded ‘civil nuclear agreement’ with India as a part of strategic alliance agreement. The nuclear agreement was approved by the parliament at the end of UPA-1 government’s tenure, after losing the support to their govt., from left parties.
After the approval of the civil nuclear agreement, another bill namely ‘nuclear damage liability’ bill has been approved in this month by the parliament. The approved nuclear liability bill effectively limits the liability to be paid for the damage to the maximum of $500 million. This amount is also bound to be paid the Indian government only. The suppliers of the nuclear material and equipment are not directly liable to pay the damage costs. There are several other conditions to make them liable.
Indian Parliament is supposed to approve the bill before arrival of the US President. That is why the Congress government has gone overboard and sought support from the opposition parties, the BJP and others. The opposition parties were up on their heels to offer support to the passage bill, because to enable themselves to receive a share of the cake of the commission attached to the buying of nuclear equipment.
In this background, Mr. Obama is visiting India. India agreed in July of last year to buy 10 defense carriers namely C-17 Globemaster planes from Boeing. They value up to $5.8 billion, which is approximately equal to Rs. 2.75 lakh crore. It is also equal to 3 times of one year budget of Andhra Pradesh province in India, a wealthy province. Obama is also going to sign a deal selling 126 fighter jets to India.
The US President is visiting India not to help Indian people. He is coming to clinch two business deals with India that would benefit the US’ multinational companies. The US has already sold 221 C-17s so far to other countries.