• Indian rules must be consistent with global norms, GE CEO says
  • GE sees opportunities in India to address power shortages

General Electric Co. won’t risk building a nuclear power plant in India, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said, signaling a continuing resistance to a law that potentially makes suppliers liable for nuclear accidents in the South Asian nation.

The Indian law needs to be consistent with the global approach, Immelt told reporters in New Delhi Monday. He said his company will continue to advocate a solution along those lines.

The comment indicate that suppliers’ concerns over the law linger and that an agreement in January between U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had little success in assuaging them. Modi is scheduled to visit the U.S. again this month.

"As we go forward and think about investing, whatever happens has to be homogenized between India and the rest of the world," Immelt said. "We want to continue to be a thoughtful advocate to have the U.S. government and the Indian government continue to work together along those lines. But in the end, there is no incremental risk we are going to take to do business here."

India’s nuclear liability law stands in the way of India’s plans to expand its nuclear generation capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide electricity to every household, a pledge Modi made after winning a record election mandate last year. India plans to raise its nuclear generation capability 74 percent to 10,080 megawatts by 2019, according to the government.

Immelt said the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company was taking a long-term view on India and the company will continue to expand its aviation, oil and gas businesses in the country. GE sees opportunities in addressing the nation’s power shortage, he said.

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