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India not stealing US jobs: Manmohan Singh

New Delhi: India today asserted that it was not in the business of stealing American jobs, even as US president Barack Obama said that deals with India to create 50,000 jobs back home were aimed at assuaging citizens' fears, reports PTI.

"India is not in the business of stealing jobs from the US... outsourcing (work to India) has helped improve the productive capacity and productivity of America," Prime minister Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference with visiting US president Barack Obama at Hyderabad House here.

The two leaders committed to enhance the bilateral cooperation in technology transfer, enhancement of trade and investment flow to create jobs in the respective nations and raise the living standards.

Replying to a question on outsourcing, the US president, who earlier met the Indian leader and held delegation level talks, said that both countries were operating on stereotypes that have outlived their usefulness and clarified that he hasn't raised the outsourcing bogey during this trip.

To a specific question on the purpose of his visit, Mr Obama said part of the reason why he advertised creation of 50,000 jobs from deals signed in Mumbai during his visit, was to tell people in America why he spent so much time in India.

His visit came in the backdrop of electoral reverses in the US Congress for Mr Obama's Democratic Party, amid criticism of his economic policies and the president summed up the situation, saying that people were frustrated with high unemployment level and difficult economic conditions.

During his visit, over 20 deals worth $10 billion were signed between the corporations of the two nations.

Mr Obama said the relationship between the two nations as a defining partnership of the 21st century and acknowledged India's emergence as a prominent and key player on the global stage.

On his part, Mr Singh welcomed American initiative and commitment to support India, saying this was essential for sustaining 9%-10% growth over the next three decades.

He pointed out that India needed $1 trillion of investment in infrastructure over the next five years.

One of the major steps agreed during his visit was lifting of controls in exports of technology by the US to India. The US has strict export control regime for the know-how, which has applications for both military and civil uses, and India was denied the same.

"We will remove Indian organisations from the so-called entity list, which will allow greater cooperation in a range of hi-tech sector like civil space and defence," he said.

The Indian prime minister hailed the US decision and said: "This is a manifestation of growing trust and confidence of each other."

In his opening remarks, Mr Obama stressed that the US expanded trade and investments to create prosperity for the people of the two nations. "The major trade deals that were signed in Mumbai were a clear step forward in elevating India as US' top trading partner.

"We have agreed to keep reducing trade barriers and resist protectionism," he added.

He said the purchase of US cargo planes by India will create 22,000 jobs in America.

The two countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in several areas including agriculture. The cooperation would cover weather and crop forecast, critical to Indian agriculture which employs more than 50% of its people, Mr Singh said.

Replying to a question on concerns in the US over trade surpluses in several countries, Obama praised India for maintaining a balance.

"India has been a part of the solution and not problem," he said.

The issue of big trade surplus by China and problems relating to its currency are likely to come up in the coming meeting of the global G-20 leaders next week in Seoul, South Korea.

Mr Singh said the US is one of India's largest trading partners and "Our trade is balanced. India is among the fastest growing sources of investment in the US and the investments have helped increase competitiveness of the US economy."

Total trade between the two nations is over $36.5 billion in 2009-10 with exports constituting $19.53 billion and imports $16.97 billion.

A number of memorandums of understandings (MoUs) were signed between the two countries. These related to energy cooperation, shale gas resources, petroleum and natural gas.

The energy cooperation covered assessment of shale gas resources in Indian basins. The US geological survey will carry out studies in this area and help India tide over its energy shortages.


SC issues notices to RPower and Centre on coal issue

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notices to Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) group company Reliance Power (RPower) and the Centre over Tata Power's plea opposing government's approval to the ADA group firm for diverting coal meant for its Sasan ultra mega power project to other projects, reports PTI.

The bench also issued notices to other respondents including ministry of coal, ministry of power and Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

The bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi directed all the parties to file replies within 12 weeks and posted the matter for next hearing in January.

The apex court's direction came after senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Tata Power, submitted that the notice has still not been issued by the court to the respondents including RPower, Centre and some other bidders who had participated in the bidding process for ultra mega power projects.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Soli Sorabjee, appearing for RPower, submitted the press statement issued by Tata Power after the last hearing and said that the company should refrain from issuing such statements.

On this the bench told Mr Salve, "Please advice your client not to issue such press statement."

Tata Power had challenged a decision by an Empowered Group of Ministers to allow Reliance Power to use coal from the captive mines for Sasan project in Madhya Pradesh for other projects.


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