New Delhi: A senior Canadian trade official has let it be known that all ground work relating to finalisation of the Indo-Canada civil nuclear deal would be given final shape by June this year. The deal, though first brought up for consideration in November 2008, was given a firm boost only in November 2009 in the course of Canadian premier Stephen Harper's visit to New Delhi.
''By June, all the work that needs to be done will be done and we could officially conclude that the Indo-Canada nuclear deal has been given a final shape,'' Canada's senior trade commissioner Mario Ste-Marie informed journalists here on the sidelines of the roundtable discussion on ''Fostering India-Canada Trade: Role of SMEs,'' organised by the CCII in association with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier, in December last year, soon after premier Harper's visit to Delhi, an announcement about the conclusion of the agreement was made in Port of Spain on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM).
In the course of his visit to New Delhi, and upon the failure of the deal to come through because of ''minor'' differences, Harper had promised that he would have these ironed out at the very earliest. He held good to his word and produced a version at the CHOGM meet that surprised the Indian delegation.
Indian premier Dr. Manmohan Singh dished out fulsome praise for his Canadian counterpart on his initiative and described the civil nuclear agreement as a very important step forward, a milestone for the development of Indo-Canadian relationship.
Canada, which was the world's largest producer of uranium until recently, became the eighth country with which India has struck a civil nuclear agreement since the international Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted a 34-year-old ban on the country to join the global nuclear trade. These curbs were lifted in September 2008.