Entity list: Gain depends on US licence policy

Bangalore: The US action in removing space and defence-related Indian entities from the export control list was "good", but much would depend on its licensing policy as many items required by these organisations were for dual-use, a top defence official said on Friday.

"…even though we have been removed from the entity list it only has taken (us) from the denied list to the enabled list… but it does not take away from the government rule or government law as far as dual use is concerned," Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister Dr V K Saraswat said.

The impact of the removal would be clear when those laws would be stipulated, he said, adding, "We cannot say whether it will help us or it will maintain the same situation."

The US has removed nine Indian space and defence related companies including those from ISRO and DRDO from its export control `Entity List` in an attempt to expand high technology trade and strategic cooperation with India.

Saraswat said the purpose of the control regime was basically to deny the technology to the country`s programmes and projects which were on the anvil at that point of time.

"But as a country we gained, because we accelerated our programme of developing those items and products that had been denied to us," he said.

On the impact of the removal of these organisations from the entity list, he said the entities like ISRO and DRDO required dual use items — from military to peaceful use to non-conventional use.

"So much depends on how the dual use technology licensing will be done by the US for which the US law today is very clear that anything that is of dual use has to get licence," he said.

It was the market forces in the US and Europe that had driven the removal of the control regime as otherwise countries not observing these regimes would benefit and the US economy would not, he said.

"Hence the removal is driven by economy, by market force.

No ethics is involved," he said.