An Excerpt: we have achieved an Agreement that is good for India, and good for the world. I am neither given to exaggeration nor am I known to be self-congratulatory. I will let history judge; I will let posterity judge the value of what we have done through this Agreement. In days to come it will be seen that it is not just the United States but nations across the world that wish to arrive at a new equilibrium in their relations with India. This agreement with the United States will open new doors in capitals across the world. It is another step in our journey to regain our due place in global councils. When future generations look back, they will come to acknowledge the significance of this historic deal.
An excerpt: It is my solid conviction that mass poverty can be removed only if we have a fast expanding economy. Even though, I recognize that a fast expanding economy is by itself not a sufficient condition of getting rid of poverty. We need institutional mechanisms to focus, particularly on the needs of the under privileged sections of our society. If India has to grow at the rate of 8 per cent to 10 per cent and, maybe, more, India needs rising amounts of energy. A question has been asked, ‘Have I calculated what type of energy mix this country needs and have I worked out the costs of that?’ Mr. Chairman, I had some experience of that. Soon after the Pokhran Tests in 1974, I became the Member for finance of the Atomic Energy Commission and, along with colleagues like Dr. Ramanna, Dr.Sethna, Dr. Iyengar, we worked out the role of nuclear energy in meeting the deficit in our energy requirements.
In this context, we must never forget the primary motivation for India‘s nuclear programme was the production of energy, defence came much later. And, where are we? After six years, our total production of nuclear power is no more than 3,000 MW. People say that we can use coal. We have plenty of coal. Often low-grade coal has high ash content. If you use increased quantities of coal you run into environmental hazards, like, the CO2 and other gas emissions. As for hydrocarbons, you know there is a great insecurity of supplies. We know that the price of hydrocarbons, oil and gas, can go, in a very short period, to hundred dollars a barrel. Therefore, in this environment, prudence demands that we must widen our energy options. I am not saying that nuclear energy will provide the final answer. All I am saying is, as I understood, all development is about widening human choices. And, when it comes to energy security, widening our choices means that we should be able to make effective use of nuclear power. If the need arises. If the economic calculus demands that this is the most cost-effective means.