End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

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somnath
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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby somnath » 30 Jul 2009 11:29

You are welcome to the real world. In this world, the babus dont allow you to top war wastage reserves and seeing the money "saved" there as an achievement. Remember Kargil and all the stuff we had to buy urgently and this was for a war in a small small section of the border.


In fact Raviku, its not the babus, its our military war fighting doctrine that keeps the war wastage reserves the way they are..Bharat Karnad writes about that in a bit of detail in his new book..About Kargil, it was a result of the same strategy - of keeping low levels of war wastage reserves and concentrating on new platforms...Its a doctrinal question, not something to do with any supplier, US or otherwise..

so you are saying that US will allow us to put in Russian radar, Indian HMDs, french engines and so on, if you wish.

and your "belief" in US comes from? Mine come from the history of US dealings with various countries including India.


Well, there is no question of "belief" here..If our armed forces think the US wont - and they can check that out upfront by insisting on an Israeli radar and liteing pod - if they dont play ball they simply disqualify the aircraft!! My confidence (as opposed to belief) stems from the fact that these days more often than not we get our way (the nuke deal is one example, WTO negotiations is another, there are many more)..

The fact that we may be stronger later infact means the exact opposite. Dont sacrifice and dont sell out your interests today! wait for the day and paddle like a duck till the time comes. Until then, just bide the time and what is needed immediately instead of trying to barter away the longer term interests


Well, its not maybe stronger, for sure we will be (look at the underling data!!) - difference in confidence levels?!

About waiting for the future, well, we need the MRCA today, the BMD systems today - cant wait for another 2 decades, can we? And we are influential enough TODAY...And we need to bargain and get these things today..Where is the "sellout"? Have we purchased anything material yet? Have we seen therefore any objectionable conditions in practice? By all accounts, the generic EUVA signed now is a darn better affair than the bespoke ones that we have signed till now for the few deals we have done with the US..

really? and those single vendor situations gave us mig21 at friend ship prices. these multiple vendors are here to garner excessive profits and you need that strength to negotiate instead of giving away the exact points of strength/leverages we have, which is what this EUA is -especially seeing the time it is bartered away, at the threshold of testing for MRCA.


Friednship prices? Cost of that friendship was to keep mum at the Prague spring, the Hungarian uprising, Afghanistan, making stupid noises at NAM..Independent foreign policy did you say??

In any case, those days are gone - everyone deals in real hard cash, incl our erstwhile friends...We do as well - so whats the problem?

In fact by signing the EUVA today, we have bought an option to get serious American competition in our defence purchases - makes our "friends" shape up big time in their offerings...We dont have to buy the yankee stuff, you know..

doesnt mean that EUM is not a sell-out? We can possibly gain some advantages from mirages which we can see today only as mirages doesnt mean we should give away the leverages we already hold. It might be a smaller sellout in the bigger (dreamy) scheme of things.

You may be right, for I have not seen the future 15-20 years down the line. So please excuse me if you want to base your premise of your view point on what may/may not happen at that time


how is the EUVA a sellout? I repeat, we havent bought anything yet...Its just an option (please read Hull et al for an elementary lesson on Options and Futures)...And I am not talking about anything 15-20 years later, I am talking about today..We are influential enough today to make the best of what is available, and we are doing exactly that - using our buying power to get offsets, get multiple vendors to compete, demand the bleeding edge in tech...Indians manage the largest corporations in the world, to think we cant manage weapons procurement to our best advantage is precisely the lack of confidence that I refuse to share...
Last edited by somnath on 30 Jul 2009 11:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby RayC » 30 Jul 2009 11:32

I am tempted to lock this thread since we are only going round and round like Tony Lumpkin with nothing substantial being added.

Narayanan has already locked the Sharm al Sheik since it had run out of steam.

I think we are running out of steam here too!

Please add something substantive.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby arnab » 30 Jul 2009 11:33

Sanku wrote:Somnath; you are not answering any substantial question raised on past history exact clauses and future possibilities.

.


The argument seems to be that there was no need to sign the EUA/M as it apparently compromises our negotiation power. This obviously is a conjecture since we have not purchased any US weapons in the post EUA world so it may or may not be true.

Now for the FACTS

Newspaper reports claim that the Rayethon AN-TPQ/37 Firefinder radars (purchased in 2002) required us to sign extremely intrusive EUA/Ms regarding inspection before the sales were approved (I have no reason to disbelieve this because else the NDA would have been jumping up and down in parliament claiming how much better a deal they had got without signing EUA/Ms).

So to me it appears to be disingenous if one were to claim that we were better of without signing the EUM. Especially when reports say that the inspections would be at a time and place of India's choosing. Even if we say that the newspaper reports were untrue - the worst case scenario would be the kind of clauses that we had to sign to purchase the firefinders.

So for me the argument would be - are the 'benefits' of the Firefinders > 'Cost' of inspections.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 11:34

I've said this before. There are two issues involved here and each operating at a different level.

They are:

1) Whether it is advisable to buy US defence maal considering the fact that they support Pakistan, are not known (in India at least) as reliable suppliers. And they have a reputation of putting very stringent conditions to whatever they supply.

2) The second point is whether a omnibus EUMA is more desirable than a case by case EUMA.

Now if you look at it No2 will only follow if the No1 issue is resolved.

And I agree that any decision on whether or not to buy big ticket items from the US - like for eg the MRCA - neededs to be carefully weighed and the decision should come only after all stake holders - the govt, military, opposition et al - agree that it's worth the risk to explore a new defence relationship with the US.

Once a decision is taken on buying US stuff it's only then the No2 will kick in.

I think the whole debate on this thread is going around in circles with the same points being made by different sides is because we are actually debating No1 while giving the pretense of debating No2.

If there's a consensus that we will buy US big ticket items - due to whatever reasons, political, technological or strategic - then I personally think it's a nobrainer to assume that a omibus and fixed EUMA, which will be a known devil for us, is more preferable to a ever changing EUMA which could be stringent or lenient depending on our desperation, or otherwise, for a particular piece of US hardware.
Last edited by amit on 30 Jul 2009 11:38, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 11:35

RayC wrote:I am tempted to lock this thread since we are only going round and round like Tony Lumpkin with nothing substantial being added.

Narayanan has already locked the Sharm al Sheik since it had run out of steam.

I think we are running out of steam here too!

Please add something substantive.


RayC Sir,

Didn't see your post before I posted mine last one. Please have a look I agree everything is going round and round. I think I know the reason why.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby RayC » 30 Jul 2009 11:36

Newspaper reports claim that the Rayethon AN-TPQ/37 Firefinder radars (purchased in 2002) required us to sign extremely intrusive EUA/Ms regarding inspection before the sales were approved (I have no reason to disbelieve this because else the NDA would have been jumping up and down in parliament claiming how much better a deal they had got without signing EUA/Ms).


Correct me if I am wrong. I was listen to Yashwant Sinha live on TV. He did mention that for the Firefinder no EUA was signed.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby RayC » 30 Jul 2009 11:37

amit wrote:
RayC wrote:I am tempted to lock this thread since we are only going round and round like Tony Lumpkin with nothing substantial being added.

Narayanan has already locked the Sharm al Sheik since it had run out of steam.

I think we are running out of steam here too!

Please add something substantive.


RayC Sir,

Didn't see your post before I posted mine last one. Please have a look I agree everything is going round and round. I think I know the reason why.


What could be the reason?

I haven't the foggiest!

I like that 100 Flowers should bloom and I am not led to organise a Cultural Revolution! :)

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 11:43

RayC wrote:Correct me if I am wrong. I was listen to Yashwant Sinha live on TV. He did mention that for the Firefinder no EUA was signed.


I didn't listen to Yashwant Sinha but there have been several media reports which state that a EUA was indeed signed for the radar as was for a number of other purchases like for eg the Trenton.

However, there have also been other reports which have quoted very respected sources as saying that there has not been a single physical inspection carried out by the US on any of the recent purchases. (I have no information of what happened in the earlier to two cases mentioned in one reports posted here).

Could it be that Yashwant was actually referring to the fact that no inspections were carried out on the radars? Do note that a EUA is a requirement under US law for any overseas arms sales by Uncle Sam and I don't see how they could have made an exception of the radars.

JMT
Last edited by amit on 30 Jul 2009 11:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby somnath » 30 Jul 2009 11:43

RayC wrote:
Newspaper reports claim that the Rayethon AN-TPQ/37 Firefinder radars (purchased in 2002) required us to sign extremely intrusive EUA/Ms regarding inspection before the sales were approved (I have no reason to disbelieve this because else the NDA would have been jumping up and down in parliament claiming how much better a deal they had got without signing EUA/Ms).


Correct me if I am wrong. I was listen to Yashwant Sinha live on TV. He did mention that for the Firefinder no EUA was signed.


http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-r ... x/493486/0

The $200 million deal to purchase 12 ANTPQ 37 Firefinder radars that help locate enemy artillery positions contains an end user agreement with the US that gives permission to its inspectors to carry out “compliance assistance visits” on their locations. In fact, sources say that the crucial radars have already been subject to an inspection by US regulators in 2005 when they were deployed in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby somnath » 30 Jul 2009 11:46

However, there have also been other reports which have quoted very respected sources as saying that there has not been a single physical inspection carried out by the US on any of the recent purchases. (I have no information of what happened in the earlier to two cases mentioned in one reports posted here).


Amit, the only "recent" inductions from the US have been the Firefinder radar and the Trenton..the Firefinder was an acute single vendor situation that would have meant a fairly sharp EUM bespoke arrangement, given that we were "desperate"..Also, things have changed drastically in the last 5-7 years..

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 11:52

RayC wrote: I like that 100 Flowers should bloom and I am not led to organise a Cultural Revolution! :)



:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby enqyoob » 30 Jul 2009 11:54

Time 4 ze lock here too? :twisted:

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 11:56

somnath wrote:Amit, the only "recent" inductions from the US have been the Firefinder radar and the Trenton..the Firefinder was an acute single vendor situation that would have meant a fairly sharp EUM bespoke arrangement, given that we were "desperate"..Also, things have changed drastically in the last 5-7 years..


Exactly my point. If we do a case by case EUMA then the US can decide on how intrusive or otherwise the clauses will be depending on how high our desperation for that particular piece of hardware.

The lack of the firefinder cost a lot of unnecessary lives during Kargil as we could not take out the Paki big guns. Ironically, at that time the Pakis had a firefinder radar and hence our Bofors had to shoot and scoot.

A fixed in stone omnibus EUMA, IMO would take away the ability of the US to arms twist us when we are desperate like we were in 2002.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby arnab » 30 Jul 2009 11:57

narayanan wrote:Time 4 ze lock here too? :twisted:


Si Senor :) reopen it again when Boeing is selected for the MRCA :twisted:

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 11:59

narayanan wrote:Time 4 ze lock here too? :twisted:



No N^3 not when I just had a tubelight moment and found out that we were actually discussing why it's such a bad idea for us saada sida SDREs to buy maal from evil Uncle Sam - while pretending to have a chai biskoot session on merits/demerits of EUMA!

:)

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby Sanku » 30 Jul 2009 12:11

Mods (RayC, N etc) I think despite the distraction caused by posters, the thread should be allowed to stay, for the reason that we will have information and articles coming in (like the Mumbai V thread) let us track it.

For example if Yashwant Sinha says on the floor of the house that no EUMA was signed for fire finders, that's a very interesting piece of new data which we should look into.

Can we have a code that only new data should be added and distracting posts be verboten?

This is a going to have a long term impact and thus should be a long term thread for information.

-----

Well Amit, I dont understand you have always maintained that the discussion is not about EUMA but whether to buy from US, why do you say that you have suddenly realized that?

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby shravan » 30 Jul 2009 12:20

narayanan wrote:Time 4 ze lock here too? :twisted:


Narayanan Sir,

Please Unlock the thread 'India's Sharm-el- Sheikh'. I think in that thread we can learn about our foreign policy, etc. And the Baluchistan issue raised by our P.M. is getting interesting day by day... :D

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 12:23

Sanku wrote: Well Amit, I dont understand you have always maintained that the discussion is not about EUMA but whether to buy from US, why do you say that you have suddenly realized that?


Sanku,

If you are interested in what I'm trying to say, you could start by looking at some of my old posts.

You could, for example start with these two:

http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?p=707329#p707329

http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?p=708268#p708268

I trust after reading these two posts, you'll see that I've been consistently saying the same thing. I'm surprised that you didn't notice/understand my POV. Trust after a careful reading you'll now understand that my POV is exactly opposite of what you assume it to be.

Cheers!

PS: An by the way the first post has my "infamous" name-calling of Bhrama Chellany which you found so objectionable. Please read that too. Thanks!
Last edited by amit on 30 Jul 2009 12:26, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby Sanku » 30 Jul 2009 12:24

Is there a site where one can find all statements made on the floor of the house? GoI should have some sort of electronic archive so that all records of parliamentary debates can be accessed.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby Sanku » 30 Jul 2009 12:27

amit wrote:
I trust after reading these two posts, you'll see that I've been consistently saying the same thing.


Precisely that's why I am confused by this,

No N^3 not when I just had a tubelight moment and found out that we were actually discussing why it's such a bad idea for us saada sida SDREs to buy maal from evil Uncle Sam - while pretending to have a chai biskoot session on merits/demerits of EUMA!


You have been saying exactly the same thing almost since the thread began. So why are you saying that it was a tubelight moment (which usually refers to a late awakening) I don't see whats the new thing you are saying now and thats why I ask.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 12:31

Dear Sanku,

I hope you noticed that there was this smiley in my post to N^3: :)

I'm sure you know there is something called humour.

For folks like me who are basically plebeian in nature, humour is the only thing that allows us to go through every day - especially after reading/discussion of highly cerebral matters like whether or not we should buy US maal and whether end user agreement is a three letter swear word (EUM) or a four letter swear word (which beings with a E and not F and ends with M and not K)! And to add to the confusion you have strange words like omnibus and bespoke being stuck in front of these acronyms!

This is a complex world!

:)

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby Sanku » 30 Jul 2009 12:37

amit wrote:Dear Sanku,

I hope you noticed that there was this smiley in my post to N^3: :)

I'm sure you know there is something called humour.


Actually I didnt notice the smiley, I guess I am too droll but I just don't find how a progressive degradation in the security outlook and strategic space of the country is something to joke about.

Probably lead a sad life, folks like me, indeed.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 12:41

Sanku wrote:Actually I didnt notice the smiley, I guess I am too droll but I just don't find how a progressive degradation in the security outlook and strategic space of the country is something to joke about.


Unfortunately (for you) Sanku, that is a viewpoint and not a statement (of fact).

Anyway each is entitled to their own POV. After all it's a self-confidence and worldview issue.

But I'm stopping now, otherwise this OT will really have N^3 launching his bredator mizziles!

8)

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby enqyoob » 30 Jul 2009 13:06

Shravan, someone else is welcome to reopen the S-e-S whinefest. I think it's over, and the issues would be much better discussed in the respective threads on J&K/ Paki Terror / Balochistan Genocide. The rest of the :(( there is political self-flagellation/ EB drumbeating, better conducted inside the GF or the HICCUP forum.

Somehow I don't think the purpose of the Strat forum, if not the whole of BRF, is to sneer at the elected leaders of India and split hair over typos or statementological inexactitudes. I highly recommend the Unmentionable Forum to do that.

But like I say, others are welcome to disagree and reopen the :(( :(( :((

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby amit » 30 Jul 2009 13:13

narayanan wrote: statementological inexactitudes.



That is a fantastic phrase! Kudos to you N^3.

So now can we say S-e-S was a case of "Statementological malfunction"?

Can we also use that to describe many of the :(( :(( :(( :(( on BRF?

:rotfl:

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby John Snow » 30 Jul 2009 21:48

One NavTal please seven levers wallah.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby negi » 30 Jul 2009 22:30

Lock this already.... :lol:

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby RayC » 30 Jul 2009 23:15

The WWR is not kept purposely at a low level by the military.

The WWR level is dependent on procurement as also production efficiency of indigenous eqpt and munitions. This is dependent on the Ministries. Therefore, it has nothing to do with the military. It is obvious that the military would not a Kalidasa!

The problem that arises is that first the front line has to be 100% equipped and with 100% ammunition and then the WWR. If procurement and production which are Ministry functions are picture perfect, then obviously the military would be more than satisfied.

The ideal example is the Bofors gun/ 155mm guns which are urgently required. Obviously, if the Ministry can’t make up its mind for so many years inspite of they being aware as the Army keeps them abreast, then the levels will drop in the front line and WWR. That cannot be a military decision to keep levels low!

As far as whether the EUVA it is a sellout or not or we should go in for US eqpt or not, my personal opinion is that we should be totally sure before contracting US or any other country’s eqpt.

I was listening to the Parliamentary debate and Yeshwant Sinha was explaining that there was some hassles with the 123 when he raised the nuclear deal issue. I could not make it out since it got garbled as I have DTH and it was raining/ pouring. Later, Manish Tiwari, in a panel discussion made the issue more complicated, but then he always does! Now, I thought the nuclear deal was in our pocket and so it was signed and we Indians all loved Bush, but then if there is a rabbit being pulled out of the hat now, we should be real careful when dealing with such agreements as EUVA,

Forewarned is Forearmed.

Arms procurement is not a straight military decision. It has also political, economic and foreign policy inputs. Therefore, buying Russian eqpt had more of political and economic inputs than merely military. Nothing wrong with the aircraft actually! Delta Wing aircraft requires greater pilot dexterity than other types, especially when taking off and reaching the service ceiling. I believe we paid for much of our Russian eqpt in bananas and tea!

Indeed one has to shut up about Prague and Budapest in the similar way we shut up about Guantanamo Bay. That is realpolitik!

There is no requirement to sign a EUVA unless we buy US eqpt. Why sign for something that you may not use?

Strategy is for visualised 20 years down the line and eqpt purchased is to cater for that scenario. Defence eqpt is extremely costly and cannot be refurbished every year or 5 year as one would his wardrobe!

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby putnanja » 06 Aug 2009 02:42

Concern over a pernicious agreement - Ashok Parthasarathi

...
Secondly, it is a matter of concern that under the EUMA India has to turn over to U.S. inspectors not only the hardware and software of all U.S.-origin systems and equipment purchased by India for their scrutiny, but also all data and information logs containing the entire history of the equipment as used by India.

...
Then, there is a much larger issue. The situation discussed above is with regard to various U.S.-origin equipment incorporated into Indian aircraft, surface ships, submarines, tanks, artillery guns and so on. What will happen when the weapon system as a whole is of U.S. origin? India has already had a taste of that from its experience with the old troop and helicopter-carrying vessel USS Trenton, which was imported and inducted into the Navy as INS Jalashar. The U.S. undertakes surprise inspections of any part of the vessel; studies all ship logs, requires a U.S. Navy officer to be on board when India makes any modifications or improvements or even repairs to keep the old vessel going… And this for a 30-year-old helicopter-and-troop carrier.
...
It is important to also note that all the three defence service chiefs have vehemently and repeatedly, verbally and in writing, individually and collectively conveyed to New Delhi at the highest levels their strong and total opposition to India entering into an EUMA with the U.S. because of its serious national security-compromising character. But the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by the Prime Minister brushed aside these acute concerns and went ahead and approved the EUMA.
...
...
With these numerous, wide-ranging and highly deleterious implications for India’s national security of the EUMA, it is imperative that the Government of India terminate the EUMA. If the Indian government does not have the will to do so, it should at least announce in Parliament that the purchase of U.S.-origin hi-tech equipment would be “purchases of very last resort.”

(Ashok Parthasarathi was Science Adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.)

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby Atri » 06 Aug 2009 02:50

IB4TL, hain :?: :P :twisted:

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby Vikram_S » 06 Aug 2009 03:04

that piece by shri ashok parthasarthi shows the level to which UPA govt is pandering to US interest.

expect more "logical decision" to be made for MRCA deal namely F-16 (oldest of competitors) or F-18 (worst flying characteristic) both of which come with huge complications in EUM

same MMS wanted "peace deal on siachen", said Pak-India should have joint collab on catching terror, under UPA watch joke of samjhauta-Purohit went on and UN had to pull India's hand out of trouble when Pak raised the issue, and of course, the glory of multiple terror attack and no response, and finally crowning moment of 26/11.

but now we have EUM and sharm al sheikh also. busy man our MMS is, and busy govt UPA.

meanwhile all arty modernisation plan stopped because UPA cant buy bofors and nobody is left to bid for our arty. :neutral:

four more years. and how many more decisions of brilliance from MMS and co, to expect. can they release the plan in advance so we can know what is coming, when?

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby RayC » 06 Aug 2009 10:48

it is a matter of concern that under the EUMA India has to turn over to U.S. inspectors not only the hardware and software of all U.S.-origin systems and equipment purchased by India for their scrutiny, but also all data and information logs containing the entire history of the equipment as used by India.


That would not be kosher!

Real chutzpah, I will say!


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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby Sanku » 10 Aug 2009 12:16



Pranay Sharma

What’s the proposed Civilian Nuclear Liability Bill about?

It seeks to cap the level of compensation (likely at $450 million) in the event of an accident and makes the operator, not the supplier, liable for it.

Are the operator and the supplier different?

Yes, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India will be the operator; the suppliers are big foreign companies like America’s GE and Westinghouse and France’s Areva.

Is the supplier liable to pay compensation?

No, it’s exclusively the operator’s liability, though it can enter into an agreement with the supplier to share the burden of compensation.

Why a cap on compensation?

Insurance companies don’t provide cover for unlimited liability



“A nuclear accident could occur due to faulty equipment or design, so the supplier should be made liable.”



. Compensation over and above the fixed amount will be the Indian government’s responsibility.

Why do critics feel the bill favours American companies?

Unlike the French and Russian firms, which are either fully or partly owned by the government, the US companies are all privately owned. Had the supplier been made liable, these companies would have found it difficult to get an insurance cover—even for a compensation of $450 million. In contrast, French and Russian companies have their governments to bail them out. Without this legislation, American companies would have been muscled out.


What is the government’s stand?

Unless there’s a domestic liability regime, no foreign company will invest in the civil nuclear field. Without it, India is unlikely to be eligible for other funds from foreign bodies if a nuclear meltdown or a major accident takes place.

Is a compensation of $450 million adequate?
Certainly not. For instance, the compensation paid by Union Carbide to the
victims of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy was just $470 million, according to one estimate, it amounted to nine cents per day per person over the 19 years since the incident occurred. Initial official death toll was 3,000; subsequent deaths were nearly 15,000; people disabled permanently totalled 50,000. A nuclear disaster will have much wider and far-reaching negative consequences than what happened in Bhopal.

The worst nuclear accident:

Chernobyl disaster, Ukraine, 1986. Over 50 people died at the plant. An estimated 65,000 died from Chernobyl over the years; 400,000 people from neighbouring areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were evacuated and an “exclusion zone” of 3,000 sq km was created and deemed off limits for human habitation for an indefinite period.

***

The Indo-US nuclear deal simply refuses to go away, goading activists to engage in a furious debate over a contemplated legislation. Called the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, it’s considered imperative to lure foreign players into the lucrative civil nuclear energy sector. But its provisions have raised serious questions over the government providing access to foreign nuclear companies, particularly those of the United States, to the Indian market without holding them responsible for the severe repercussions of any accident. This debate also has the echo of that familiar question: is nuclear energy a viable option for India?

There are two contentious aspects of the proposed bill. One, it proposes to cap the level of compensation at $450 million in the event of an accident at a nuclear facility. Two, the responsibility for paying this compensation will rest on the operator (likely to be the Nuclear Power Corporation) and not the supplier or foreign companies building and installing reactors in India. “Even from the free market point of view, such a proposal is totally flawed,” says writer-activist Nityanand Jairaman. His argument: since an accident in a nuclear plant could take place because of faulty design or substandard equipment, the supplier too should be held liable.

But the Indian industry thinks otherwise. A recent FICCI working group report on civil nuclear energy, chaired by Nuclear Power Corporation chairman S.K. Jain said, “It’s advisable that the liability for nuclear damages in India be solely attached to the operator of the nuclear installation. The rationale is further augmented by the fact that any activity, whether in respect of supply or services, is being utilised for the operator and not otherwise.”

In a nutshell, this means the supplier—foreign companies like France’s Areva SA, Russia’s Rosatom Corp and US giants GE and Westinghouse—will reap huge profits by setting up nuclear reactors and selling their technologies, but will not be required to pay compensation in case of a nuclear accident at their plants. It will also be the operator’s liability to seek insurance cover for a maximum limit of $450 million. Compensation over and above this amount would be borne by the Indian government. The FICCI report, however, adds a caveat—the operator and supplier could enter into a private contract to share the compensation burden.

Says Praful Bidwai, writer and a member of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, told Outlook, “This is being done under the combined pressure of the US and Indian industry, both of which are keen to get a share of the Indian civil nuclear energy pie.” However, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), responsible for formulating the proposed legislation, says putting a cap on compensation is an international practice. The reason, say DAE officials, is simple—a nuclear accident can cause colossal damages and raise demands for inconceivable compensation amounts. Typically, insurance companies are not willing to underwrite unlimited compensation. Consequently the cap.

But why absolve the supplier from liability? Activists allege this proviso has been introduced to enable the American companies to enter the Indian market. It’s easy for the French and Russian companies, which are either completely or partially owned by their governments, to buy an insurance cover for the earmarked $450-million. Since the two US companies are privately owned (though Japanese firms now have major stakes in them), finding an insurance cover would have been a gargantuan task. Without the bill absolving the supplier of liability, the Americans run the risk of being edged out of the Indian market, estimated to be worth over $200 billion.

“We’re only trying to create a level playing field,” justifies a South Block official, saying the legislation will help attract investment in the civil nuclear energy sector. Critics, however, accuse the UPA government of favouring the Americans who, during US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s recent visit, managed to secure a site each in Andhra and Gujarat for nuclear plants (worth $10 billion) based on US technology.

Interestingly, three international conventions—the Paris Convention (1960), the Vienna Convention (revised in 1997) and the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC)—also attempt to provide such indemnity to the global nuclear industry. The CSC, however, hasn’t yet come to force as it has been ratified by only three countries. Arguing that it is essential to have a CNL (Civil Nuclear Liability) framework to attract foreign investment and technologies in the civil nuclear energy field, DAE officials also hold out the imminent possibility of India signing and ratifying the Vienna Convention and the CSC. They feel this could help India access larger and “multi-layered” compensation from international sources.

But critics say the funds generated through these measures would hardly suffice, pointing to the scale of damage wrought by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to bolster their point. Closer home, activists point to the experience of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and say the $470 million as compensation was grossly insufficient (see infographic). “It’s unfortunate that a negative lesson is being learnt from the Bhopal gas tragedy,” says Satinath Sarangi of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. He feels the $450-million cap and transfer of liability to the operator has been done because American companies, after their experience in Bhopal, are wary of entering the Indian civil nuclear market unless they receive guarantees of not being held culpable in an accident.

The resistance to the bill, the draft of which is ready, has set the stage for the Opposition to accuse the UPA of succumbing to “US pressure” yet again.

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?261236[/quote]

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby enqyoob » 12 Aug 2009 06:20

What do u think would be a fair solution to this issue?

For one thing, if the Supplier is held liable in Indian court, will that provide enforcement teeth? What is the experience of Bhopal in this regard, and how have prospects of getting a fair deal from US or French or Russian courts improved? Does the WTO provide any such enforcement?

IIRC, the Bhopal victims essentially got what the Indian guvrmand gave, until most were dead. The big$$ relief prospects stayed tied up in courts for several decades, and the US courts basically said :P .

Compare with the experience of say, commercial airliners. What is the experience of getting Boeing or L'Airbus to pay up, when the operator is not a US or Frogistani or other Oiropean carrier?

Now I am not saying that the potential victims should just ignore this issue. But some rational alternatives should be developed. One is obviously to not have any foreign suppliers of nuclear power.

What would happen today if there were an accident involving a Russian-supplied reactor or reactor component? Do you see the Russians giving a lot of money to Indian victims or families? How about in future, if there were no such Bill passed?

If not, then this is much more about the fact that suppliers may include American companies, than about any real concern for citizens' rights.

The other way of looking at it is, what is the liability of say, Suslon for accidents involving Suslon-supplied wind turbines in AmirKhana or elsewhere? The laws should be reciprocal in this regard.

Yet another aspect to consider is, what happens when Indian companies are the suppliers of nuclear reactors to US power plants? (Impossible? Then why is Suslon able to sell in the US?)

Space Law says that the country that owns (meaning operates) a spacecraft is liable for all losses suffered due to the craft or its components hitting anywhere in the world. NOT the supplier of the spacecraft. Since many of the huge 4ton to 16ton GEO sats are built by Amirkhanic or Oiropean builders, though they may be owned by Arabsat or Pakistan or whoever, there is much similarity. A 1 ton component from such an orbit (most probably during launch), surviving to smash into a city will cause much more near-term death and destruction than most imaginable nuclear plant accidents, so the scale of the disaster is also comparable.

So if the likelihood of getting foreign SUPPLIERS to pay big $$ is anyway minimal, then all that this Bill does is to put a reasonable bound on liability of INDIAN operators, and thus hugely impact the cost and speed of developing nuclear energy. Without a reasonable cap, all that will happen is that
a) the operator cannot get money and insurance to start the business
b) the insurance cost will anyway be sky-high
c) in the event of an accident, the operator will immediately declare bankruptcy, and then the victims will get nothing.

IOW, in the event of a major disaster, it is the People of India, through the GOI, that has to help the victims. This is the reality anyway.

This Bill merely recognizes that very harsh reality. I don't like the reality, but that's what it is.

Opponents of the nuclear deal, and in particular of AmirKhanic entry into this business in India, will cite the huge differences in $$ awards between Indian courts and American courts. This of course, misses the point. The solution for that problem is to bring Indian courts racing into the 19th century from the Early British Raj treatment of Indians that they now practice.

So the way I see it, having an upper limit figure in a law, enables moving forward, with no practical degradation of victims' rights. Is it better to do this, or not to do it, based on a reasonable consideration of alternatives? Should the cap at least be raised to "$450 million from Operator, $450 million from Supplier" explicitly rather than vague advice to the Operator to strike a deal with the Supplier?
Another interesting thing to consider:

Suppose Supplier from Country X is involved in an accident in India, that results in a set of Citizens of Country X suffering big losses.

Does this Bill have any impact on the ability of those people to sue Supplier X in the courts of Country X? After all the citizens have every right to seek redressal from their own courts, hey?

I look forward to seeing responses to this.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby John Snow » 12 Aug 2009 06:46

Ok lets first start with Product Liability Laws of India.
How many times the Plaintif won?
How much was the damages paid, especially punitive.
How much did Indian partner of Union Carbide (49% ownership) pay the largest product Libility case?

How many countries like France, Russia, etc which want to supplu Nuke reactors related equipment have open liability?

just for starters, I dont know the answers

(Indian judiciary and law enforcement has better malleability than SIlver or gold, as can be seen in Nanda's sons case, Sharukh Khan case, and ofcourse Bofors case...)

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby samuel » 12 Aug 2009 06:50

* We got nothing out of carbide, obviously. A deal like this will have let them continue on like nothing happened, deflecting to the "operator," and that would be wonderful, why?

* Isn't the fundamental idea that we figure out who is to blame and get compensation? If the manufacturer messed up, they messed up. They pay up or we "go after them" by freezing their assets wherever we can and shut them out. Why should an operator be responsible for catastrophic losses due to design flaws? If my piper has a tendency to flat spin in a stall, then a) I am stupid for trying to stall, b) I am stupider for buying the airplane, but c) had that fact not be known, stall being a regulation maneuver, why is this operator error?

* Is there reciprocity here? Can there be a limit on how many arrests are made in Singapore as a result "dual use" junk graphics chips we can take out of the US?

* When did this turn supplier's market?

JMT
S

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby arnab » 12 Aug 2009 07:16

per my simple rule of thumb model - anything which Purefool says is bad for India, is more likely than not (1) either good for India or (2) a storm in a teacup.

An 'adequate' level of compensation can be argued till the cows come home. Mayawati was handing out Rs 50,000 per rape victim which caused a huge angst to Ms Bahuguna regarding its 'adequacy' and the rest as we say is history.

However regards the liability limits, Outlook's argument that it favours US versus Russian / French cos is simply untenable. The issue is not 'ownership', it is the ability to extract compensation. Are they seriously suggesting that because Russian / French cos are state owned - they would simply roll over and pay up?

Hell we haven't got the pakis to pay up our legitimate dues from independence.

Finally, as N^3 said, it will be GOI that will decide on compensation if an accident happens. It would do so if a BARC reactor caused the accident and it would do so if a US / French / Russian reactor caused an accident.

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby samuel » 12 Aug 2009 07:57

if goi is deciding the return rates and limits on disasters, why have this sham? or may be that was the point.

is the idea to settle the distribution for future rewards now itself? hanji, yes, yes, we are open for business; even if you blow your reactor up, char-sow-pachas, bus, hain, ok? rest we take care aph.

wouldn't simple be; if you are at fault, you stand and be judged by our law.

further, does limiting liability make it any easier to get it from manufacturer in the event of, say? may be then we will say, ok ok we ave to keep doing bijness, acha just send so much to this account and baki kaha suna maph.

what's the point here?

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Re: End User Agreement : India's capitulation to US interests ?

Postby arnab » 12 Aug 2009 08:19

samuel wrote:if goi is deciding the return rates and limits on disasters, why have this sham? or may be that was the point.

is the idea to settle the distribution for future rewards now itself? hanji, yes, yes, we are open for business; even if you blow your reactor up, char-sow-pachas, bus, hain, ok? rest we take care aph.

wouldn't simple be; if you are at fault, you stand and be judged by our law.

further, does limiting liability make it any easier to get it from manufacturer in the event of, say? may be then we will say, ok ok we ave to keep doing bijness, acha just send so much to this account and baki kaha suna maph.

what's the point here?


The point IMO is - increased competition. In an earlier world when Russia was the only one selling us reactors, a chernobyl type incident in RAPS would probably say - look we really need your reactors, you are the only one willing to sell us this stuff, kaha suna maph, hope you use this disaster as a learning experience and provide better stuff in future.
Now we can say - if you don't pay up, we go to the US for future reactors.


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