New Delhi, Aug 6 (): US mission in the capital has revived the American Embassy club running partially within its premises. After the Devyani Khobragade row last December, the American Embassy club, was partially closed as Ministry for External affairs cited many violations of conditions by the the embassy in running the club. It was found to be offering its services to non-diplomats and widening it to allow all American passport holders use it.
Sources said the embassy has now limited the club’s membership to include only its own diplomats and their families. According to sources, the Indian and US officials agreed on this compromise formula after the diplomat row was amicably settled. The club is managed by American community support association and it is a meeting place for all expat citizens in the capital. The club was doing limited service after the crackdown.
The compromise formula came in just before John Kerry, the secretary of State came to India. The club has a restaurant, snack bar and two bars serving liquor and one of them is by the poolside. For sports enthusiasts, it has bowling alleys, tennis court, swimming pool, gym and a beauty salon. A DVD store that rents movies and a gift shop are other outlets that operate here.
India does not levy any taxes on the services or goods sold under diplomatic agreement with US. Similarly, goods used in the club that come from US are not levied customs duty.
In a compromise formula, the US club will restrict the weekly quota of liquor to its own diplomats and those diplomatic communities who are already members. Non-diplomats will neither be allowed to use the club nor buy from them.
Other country embassies stock their duty-free liquor in the US embassy and operate a pooling system,which has been stopped.
Meantime, US for the first time has admitted that there is a thaw in relations with India. US bid to resolve the WTO standoff too has failed.