NEW DELHI (AFP) - India is finalising bilateral pacts with countries including France and Russia for the import of civilian atomic power plants and technology, a foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday. The announcement comes days after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which controls the export and sale of nuclear technology worldwide, amended its rules to allow India to buy equipment and expertise to fuel its booming economy. New Delhi is also in talks with US companies, foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said. "Following the NSG statement which enables civil nuclear cooperation by NSG members with India, the government is taking steps to realise commercial cooperation with foreign partners," Sarna said. New Delhi is moving towards bilateral agreements with "friendly partner countries such as France and Russia," he said. The agreements with both Russia and France are ready for signing, officials have said. The NSG approval followed the United States leaning on several countries opposed to the India-specific amendment in Vienna last weekend. It was a pact agreed with the United States in 2006 that opened the possibility of India buying nuclear plants and related technology. The pact with the US offers India an end to its three-decades old nuclear pariah status, as long as New Delhi allows UN nuclear inspections of some of its nuclear facilities. Despite the NSG go-ahead, New Delhi and Washington are awaiting approval of their bilateral pact that the White House sent to the Congress on Thursday. "While actual cooperation will commence after bilateral agreements like the (India-US) agreement come into force, the Nuclear Power Cooperation of India has already commenced preliminary dialogue with US companies," the foreign ministry spokesman added. Mean wile, five people were arrested in India's remote northeastern state of Meghalaya for allegedly trying to smuggle uranium, police said Thursday. The arrests came after a man was found with a parcel containing a powdery substance about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from state capital Shillong. "We seized the packet from the village headman and took him into custody. Later we arrested four other people in the same case," M. Kharkrang, police chief of the West Khasi Hills district, said by telephone. Police suspected the contents to be uranium and sent them for tests, they said. Five people were arrested in May for allegedly trying to sell a kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of uranium for 2.6 million rupees (57,000 dollars). Surveys by India's Atomic Energy Department estimate the Domiasiat area of Meghalaya could hold up to 375,000 tonnes of uranium ore deposits. Uranium ore has to be cleaned and processed before it becomes useable as nuclear reactor fuel to generate electricity. It has to go through further enrichment before it can be used to develop weapons. The state-run Uranium Corporation of India stopped mining in Meghalaya in the mid-90s following violent protests from villagers and pressure groups over health fears. India has been trying to secure uranium to fuel its civilian nuclear atomic plants. Last weekend, New Delhi secured a waiver from the Vienna-based Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls global atomic commerce, to buy nuclear power plants, technology and fuel to power its economic growth.