Govt likely to face Opposition heat in Parliament on nuke issue
Government is expected to face much flak from the Opposition in the Budget session of Parliament on the nuclear liability issue in the wake of the breakthrough on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
New Delhi: Government is expected to face much flak from the Opposition in the Budget session of Parliament on the nuclear liability issue in the wake of the breakthrough on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
An indication to this effect was given by Congress' senior spokesman Anand Sharma who said that the principal Opposition party has not yet been taken into confidence on the details arrived at during the just-concluded visit of US President Barack Obama.
Opposition leaders have been saying that the government must inform Parliament about the assurances on the commercial component of the agreement it reached, the financial liability clause and the compensation part.
"We do not have the fine print of the assurances given as yet. They have kept it vague so far. Government has not shared the details and it must place them before Parliament," Sharma said.
He hinted that the Opposition party would pillory the BJP on the nuclear liability issue.
"Whether BJP likes it or not, the party and its leaders of the Opposition in Parliament at that time will have to share the credit or take the blame for bringing impediment in the operationalisation of the deal," he said.
He insisted that the BJP leaders were squarely responsible for the provision 17(B) under the Nuclear Liability Act which came as an impediment in operationalising the deal.
Sharma, who is also the Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, said that whatever agreement government of India could have arrived at during talks with the US should be "within four corners of the Indian law".
Reports had it that New Delhi has proposed setting up an insurance pool with a liability cap of Rs 1500 crore, half of which will come from the government of India.
The state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India would pay premiums to cover its liability. Suppliers would take out separate insurance against their secondary liability - which could not exceed that of the operator - at a "fraction" of the cost.