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India, US have 'almost closed' contours of limited trade pact

New Delhi: India and the US have moved to the next level of engagement having "almost closed" the final contours of limited trade package, and will come up with a comprehensive trade deal going forward, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

Goyal was participating in the 'US-India Forum: Partners for Growth' conference here.

"On the economic front, having almost closed the last contours of the limited trade deal and with the announcement of a much larger trade deal in the offing, we have moved to a new level of engagement," Goyal said.

The minister said the engagement will help both sides on different fronts. While India will benefit by engaging with new technology, the US will gain by India becoming a big source for talent.

Sharing the government's vision, the minister said our goal is that by 2022, every family should have own home with 24 hours electricity, clean cooking gas, access to internet, and good school and health care around the home.

To reach the goal of making India a USD 5 trillion economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had extensive consultations with 80 ministries, entire council of ministers and senior bureaucracy to bring in the interconnect between different thought processes, he said.

Referring to the proposed trade deal between India and the US, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra said, "There are certain areas where you need the US to also open up the market to us, that is the discussion going on between the various ministries, between the US and India.

"Suffice to say that we need better understanding, something more akin to the kind of understanding we have at several other levels between the US and India. I am pretty

sure that some kind of understanding will be reached," he said.

On the draft e-commerce policy on data storage which is presently under formulation, Mohapatra said every responsible country in the world wants to carve out its own space to decide what is good for the country and citizens.

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