Asked if India was close to concluding the commercial negotiations between the Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Westinghouse for setting up nuclear power reactors in India, he said: "We are close, yes."

But he did not specify if the negotiations that have been going on would be concluded ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the US next week. Menon was asked about the Nuclear Liability Law that puts the onus on suppliers in the case of an accident. He said that in the matter of the Civil Liability Law, it was not just the US but also domestic suppliers who have been asking how the law would affect them.

"And they need to know in order to do business. We are in the process of addressing those concerns," Menon said during a talk on "India and the US" organised by Aspen Institute India.

Opposition parties have expressed concern over reports that the government was trying to bypass a key clause in the Nuclear Liability Law in order to overcome hindrances to clinching the deal.


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