NEW DELHI (TIP): India and Australia have completed negotiations for the much awaited civil nuclear agreement, which is likely to be signed during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott early next month. It will pave the way for uranium imports from Australia, making it one of India’s top strategic partners. Abbott is scheduled to visit India a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from his first visit to Japan on September 3.

Modi is scheduled to visit Australia for the G-20 summit in November. It will the first time in the history of the bilateral relationship that there would be two visits within a calendar year, said sources. Australia is heading to becoming one of India’s top energy sources. India is among Australia’s largest coal export partners. India and Australia are currently in the process of working out the administrative arrangements that will govern the actual implementation of the deal.India has been negotiating a civil nuclear agreement with Japan for the past four years.

Japan is yet to step off the bench with Japanese diplomats calling it a “difficult” decision. Indian officials say they would wait for the Japanese to make up their mind, but if the negotiations go on for much longer, India is likely to look for alternative sources of nuclear supplies. France’s Areva, GE-Hitachi and Toshiba-Westinghouse need an India-Japan nuclear deal for progress on their plans to set up nuclear power plants in India. With the Australian agreement done, Japan is certain to come under pressure to assure this deliverable when Modi visits Tokyo on August 31.

Last week, Australia cleared Gautam Adani’s Carmichael coal project in the Galilee basin in Queensland, which holds some of the largest untapped coal reserves. Indian company, Petronet, in August 2009 signed a 20-year deal to buy 1.44 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia’s Gorgon terminal. India has signed nuclear supply agreements with countries like Canada, Kazakhstan and Argentina, but Australia is a much sought after source because of the quality of uranium there.

The negotiations started when Australian PM Julia Gillard visited India in October 2012 and has been one of the shortest on record, comparing favourably with the India’s negotiations with Canada.


Did You Know?


If you are not convinced with the new-age facial hair removal treatments, then home remedies to reduce facial hair growth is the solution for...

How An Ill-Fitting Bra Can Harm You