No change in stance on uranium sales to India: Australia

Canberra: Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd is under increasing pressure to allow sale of uranium ore to India after cancelling a deal signed by the earlier conservative government of John Howard. It said there would be no change in its stance against sale of ore to India, as this rising Asian power hasn't signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) the Australian Financial Review reported.

Australia is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which has exempted India from the rule that countries must sign the treaty to get uranium supplies, according to the report.

Indian commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma told the Review he saw no reason for Rudd to not honour the previous pact. Sharma said his country needs Australia's uranium to secure a "clean" energy source for its population.

The fact that Australia sells uranium only to NPT signatories, Sharma said, must not allow it to overlook India's clean record on the issue. The world's second largest growing economy after China needs the supplies to help it cut greenhouse gases.

Trade minister Simon Crean on Tuesday ruled out a change in policy.

"There is no prospect for a change," he told reporters in Canberra.

"We have consistently said, made this clear to India ... that we, because of our policy cannot supply to countries that are non-signatories to the non proliferation treaty."