Devyani case not to impact India-US commercial ties: Sharma
The ongoing spat between India and U.S. over the diplomat Devyani Khobragade issue would not impact commercial ties between the two countries, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in New Delhi on Saturday.
“India was outraged over the treatment given to Ms. Devyani but our relationship with the US is far too important. It is a strategic partnership between the two largest democracies of the world. Strategic in every sense, so we are not disengaging. This relationship will go stronger,” Mr. Sharma told reporters in New Delhi.
India has been outraged over the arrest of Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, in a street in New York over visa fraud charges as she was dropping her daughter to school.
“In mature democracies, issues get addressed. Issues are not allowed to cast an ominous shadow on what is truly a building partnership,” he said.
Angry over handcuffing and strip search of Ms. Khobragade, India’s Deputy Consul General in New York, the government has retaliated strongly by initiating a series of reprisal steps to strip U.S. diplomats and their families of privileges including withdrawing of all airport passes and stopping import clearances for the embassy.
When asked whether, the issues will impact the commercial ties between the two countries, Mr. Sharma said, “No”.
The bilateral trade between India and the U.S. has risen to $61.35 billion in 2012-13 from $58.19 billion in 2011-12.
India has received foreign direct investment worth $11.62 billion from America between April 2000 and September 2013, which is 6 per cent of the country’s total foreign inflows during that period.