US hopeful of resolving nuclear liability issue with India

The US is hopeful of resolving the contentious nuclear liability issue with India so that the process of implementation of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal can be accelerated, Richard Verma, the nominee for US Ambassador to India, has told Senators.

PTI| Updated: Dec 03, 2014, 14:25 PM IST

Washington: The US is hopeful of resolving the contentious nuclear liability issue with India so that the process of implementation of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal can be accelerated, Richard Verma, the nominee for US Ambassador to India, has told Senators.

"I'm hopeful that we can resolve the liability issue in a way that will live up to the promise of the accord that was reached many years ago here in this body," Richard Verma, the nominee for US Ambassador to India, told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during his confirmation hearing.

Verma, as the then staffer of the top Democratic Senator Harry Reid, had played a key role in passage of the India US civilian nuclear bill also called the Hyde Act.

"I was also involved with the passage of the Hyde Act. I worked the amendments on the floor. And it was a great moment for both countries. We came together closely like never before," he said in response to a question on the historic bill.

At the same time, he acknowledged the disappointment over its non-implementation.

"I also know that there's been great disappointment in the full implementation of the agreement mainly because of the liability issues, although there are another couple of issues that need to be resolved as well," he said.

The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, which enables operator of nuclear power plants in India to seek partial compensation from suppliers in case of accidents, is hampering projects in the country.

Suppliers of nuclear equipment from the US, Canada and other countries see the Nuclear Damage Act as a hurdle in selling nuclear reactors to India.