Nuclear bill report to be tabled Wednesday

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, which is examining the nuclear liability bill, is expected to table its report next week, its chairman T. Subbirami Reddy said here.

‘I am confident that the report will be tabled in parliament Wednesday,’ Reddy told IANS.

Reddy said he was trying for a consensus and the committee would accommodate all those concerns that are in the interest of the country.

Official sources said that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Tuesday over the bill, is expected to meet Left parties’ leaders Friday.

Both the BJP and Left parties have opposed the nuclear liability bill in its present form. The bill was referred to the standing committee after its introduction in the Lok Sabha in the budget session of parliament.

The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, seeks to create a mechanism for compensating victims of nuclear damage arising from a nuclear accident.

The bill fixes no-fault liability on operators and gives them a right to recourse. It caps the liability of operator at Rs.500 crore and makes the central government liable for damage exceeding this amount up to 300 million SDR.

The passsage of the legislation is crucial to implementing the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal.

During their meeting with Mukherjee, BJP leaders said that the government should redraft the bill by removing ‘unnecessary provisions’ and making the legislation India-specific.

They said that there was no need for the government to join the Convention of Supplementary Compensation (CSC) since foreign operators were not being allowed at present.

The party also suggested there should not be an upper limit in the no-fault liability regime.

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