Obama coming with bag of goodies

Obama coming with bag of goodies

Will Barack Obama play Santa and bring in early Christmas to India?

Given the number of goodies the president is said to be packing in for his journey, this looks quite possible. Foremost in the list of gifts is the possible American backing for a United Nations Security Council seat, as well as assurance on outsourcing, likely removal of sanctions etc. Besides these, the kind of deals Obama will sign in India is said to provide a major boost to the US economy.

A nearly $6 billion deal on the defence front to procure 10 C17 Globemaster III heavy transport aircraft, C130 transport aircraft and adding four more to the current fleet of P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft, which is worth $1.1 billion, will be amongst the big-ticket deals due for signing during the presidential visit.

Decks for these agreements were cleared when Defence Minister A K Antony visited the US recently. The defence deals could turn out to be the largest ever one-time defence agreements between India and the US. Also on the table would be an Rs 30,000-crore project to build locomotives for the Indian Railways.

With an increasing demand for a permanent seat for India at the UN Security Council, following New Delhi’s impressive showing in the elections for the non-permanent UNSC seat, Obama could possibly throw his weight behind India’s bid, informed sources here said.  

United States is the only P5 nation (permanent members of the UNSC that also includes Russia, China, UK and France) which has not supported India’s quest to join the UNSC high-table. Getting US billing would be a major step forward for the Indian bid to the UN seat.

Obama is likely to mollify the Indian IT industry by stating that curbs on outsourcing would not hit US-India business relations. The president may possibly have good news for the ISRO and the DRDO as he is likely to announce lifting of technical sanctions on the agencies.  

The US is set to benefit hugely from the defence deals––the deals are likely to be signed through Foreign Military Sales  route bypassing the bid process.
 

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