‘India’s full membership in export control regimes, next logical step’

New Delhi, April 18: India Wednesday pitched for simultaneous full membership of the four global export control regimes as “the logical conclusion” of its partnership with these regimes and its member-nations.

India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told a national seminar on strategic export control jointly organised by the ministry of external affairs and the Institute of Defence Analyses (IDSA) here that the country views a strong and effective national export control system as an essential link between its broader national security goals and wider foreign policy objectives.

Advocating “full membership” for India in the four export control regimes — the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Australia Group (AG), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) — for which it has already expressed interest, Mathai said, “While we wish to move forward in tandem on all the four regimes, our engagement with NSG is seen by observers as the most important. The logical conclusion of partnership with India is its full membership of the four multilateral regimes.”

Buttressing the point, Mathai noted, “India’s impeccable non-proliferation record has been widely recognised and was reflected in the milestone NSG decision of September 2008 on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India.”

India has consistent record of implementation of its voluntary commitments and has made progress since September 2008 in the implementation of the Civil Nuclear Initiative, he asserted.

Explaining the rationale for export control, Mathai said, “just as export controls are vital for national security and global non-proliferation objectives, they are also essential for the pursuit of growth and national development by harnessing the benefits of globalization.”

As India’s integration with global trade patterns and supply chains deepens, it would increasingly become an important hub of manufacturing and export of high technology items, he added.

India’s export control framework is based on nine legislations and are in line with the highest international standards. India has also increased engagement with various countries and its participation in international and regional export control seminars and conferences.

In terms of implementation, an inter-ministerial working group, coordinated by the directorate general of foreign trade, administers the SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Material, Equipment and Technology) regulations, which outline the procedure, process and factors relating to the licensing of controlled items that are possibly of both civil and military use.

India’s national enforcement mechanisms cover prevention, detection and penalisation of unauthorized exports. Customs and other enforcement agencies are active participants in these efforts. These activities are coordinated through an inter-agency core group, which meets periodically to review these issues.

IANS