The United States-India Business Council has intensified lobbying efforts to push for an NSG nod and a landmark ratification of legislation in the Congress this year for operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group, that controls international nuclear trade, is holding discussions to consider a waiver for India to resume civil nuclear trade but a decision during the two-day meet appears 'tough' in the wake of concerns by three of its members.
'We understand that the NSG will require more than one meeting to end India's nuclear isolation. But seizing this moment is essential,' Ron Somers, USIBC president said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors had approved the India-specific safeguards agreement but an NSG nod and ratification of the nuclear agreement by US congress are necessary to implement the Indo-US atomic deal.
'Thursday's meeting at the NSG, just three weeks following the unanimous approval by the IAEA, is a crucial step that will bring India into the international mainstream, which is good for nuclear non-proliferation, good for global energy security, and good for the environment,' Somers said.
The USIBC pointed out that the NSG's admission of India to the non-proliferation regime will see IAEA safeguards applied to 14 of its 22 nuclear facilities, its support for the IAEA Additional Protocol, harmonisation with the Missile Technology Control Regime and other non-proliferation gains.
'NSG approval of nuclear trade with India will provide power to sustain India's remarkable 9 per cent growth -- a process, which has lifted hundreds of millions from poverty,' the trade association has said, adding only 55% of Indian households have access to electricity and that without nuclear energy, India will be forced to rely on costly and carbon-emitting fossil fuels for baseload power.
Currently, coal and gas account for 64% of India's total generating capacity. With international cooperation, India can expand its nuclear capacity from just 4,000 MW to between 30,000 and 60,000 MW in 2030, it said.
The US-India Business Council is a trade association based in Washington representing the largest US companies investing in India, and has been advocating for the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation.