India and EU could sign the bilateral trade deal that has been in the works for over five years, keeping aside the contentious issues.
Thailand and India had opted for an early harvest scheme as part of their FTA. India had also signed a slightly diluted with Malaysia, and feels a same approach could be adopted with respect to negotiations with the European Union.
"That is always possible. Like with Thailand we have done just a preferential trade agreement, which is the early harvest", the official said but did not give details on what components could be taken out of the agreement.
However experts are not sure the European Union would go for a light agreement like the one India signed with Malaysia.
"Unless it gets it way with the in , it is unli8kely to sign on the agreement", said Arpita Mukjerjee, professor, Icrier.
India's domestic automobile industry is opposing duty concessions to European industry while higher to upto 49% in insurance will require a legislative change, for which the government needs to build political consensus as it cannot get the law passed on its own strength.
Europe on the other hand is averse to granting India the data secure status, citing the lax IT laws of the country, and is finding difficult to relax movement of professionals from India because of the already high due to the financial crisis.
India has also reaffirmed its position that it cannot go beyond the parameters of the TRIPS Agreement and Indian laws for Regime in the ongoing negotiations for a trade and investment agreement with EU.
The EU wants stronger patent laws to protect the interest of its multinational drugs companies that face tough competition from India's low-cost generic companies. However, the government is unlikely to rush into a deal unless it sees gains for the country.
"There is no compulsion to sign unless we also get a fair deal. When we do a loss and gain calculus, some sectors may be hit, but will be compensated by gains in other sectors", said the official.