Washington: In line with commitments made by president Barack Obama, the United States department of commerce has set in motion regulatory changes aimed at lifting the ban on trade with Indian defence entities like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The United States of America had placed curbs on trade with these entities following India's nuclear tests in 1998.
According to top US officials a formal notification to lift the ban by the US department of commerce is in an advanced stage.
"These regulatory changes will begin the transformation of the bilateral export control policies to realise the full potential of the strategic partnership between our two countries," Eric Hirschhorn, under-secretary for industry and security, US department of commerce, informed agencies.
Hirschhorn, however, did not provide a timeframe in which the proposed action would be completed. Official sources have indicated that a formal notification in this regard could well be issued before the scheduled India visit of commerce secretary Gary Locke which is due between 6-11 February.
"The department of commerce is working quickly to publish a regulation that will remove Indian space and defence-related entities from the Entity List and enact other India-specific export control changes," a senior US official said.