Trump’s son-in-law likely to push for $40 bn nuke plant deal

Trump’s son-in-law likely to  push for $40 bn nuke plant deal

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to US President Donald Trump will be keen to push for the over $40 billion dollar deal for setting up nuclear plants in India when he arrives on Air Force One on Sunday.

There has been a renewed thrust on six nuclear power plants by Westinghouse that were promised by then PM Manmohan Singh in return for a civil nuclear agreement with the US that paved the way for India’s re-entry into the civil nuclear mainstream.

Also read: India hitting US ‘very hard’ on trade; will talk business with PM Modi: Trump

Westinghouse’s case for setting up nuclear power plants in India had suffered a setback after it went bankrupt. But after a white knight bailed it out and then helped Kushner emerge unscathed from a financially disastrous building project, the US pressure is back although the company – Brookfield – has denied any connection between its nuclear business and being involved in Kushner family’s real estate business.

Soon after, the Americans raised the issue during then Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s Washington visit in May and followed it up by discussing it at the two plus two meeting of Indo-US Foreign and Defence Ministers, again in Washington, in December this year. But the Indian stalling was palpable. The joint statement merely welcomed the continued progress byNuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse toward a techno-commercial offer for constructioning six nuclear reactors.

On the eve of Trump’s visit, the Ministry of External Affairs has said that the two sides are now in discussion regarding the division of responsibility of the work. NPCIL has visited Westinghouse’s reference plant in the US to understand the company’s modular construction methodology.


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