To boost bilateral ties, Australian trade and investment minister Andrew Robb on Friday said that the “finishing line is in sight” for supply of uranium to India and also expressed hope of conclusion of talks on the trade pact between the two nations by the end of the year.
“The two Prime Ministers have concluded all they need to do. We are just going through the technical issues to ensure these are satisfied. There were negotiations on Thursday in Australia, which I understand made very good progress,” Robb said, adding that though he can’t give a definite timeline as he is not directly involved but stressed, “the finishing line is in sight. We just have to go through the usual processes in our Parliamentary system.”
India and Australia had last year entered into a civil nuclear agreement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country in September 2014. Australia has nearly 40 per cent of the world’s uranium reserves.
“Given the ambition to have 25 per cent of all power generation by 2015 from nuclear power plants, we have a very strong relationship for a long time to come on the issue,” Robb said. India hopes to have 45,000 MW of nuclear capacity by 2032 if it gets an assured uranium fuel.