New Delhi: With the government facing stiff
opposition on its Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, France on Monday dubbed the issue as "internal" but said the rules were
necessary in order to establish a robust, equitable and
efficient liability regime in India.
"It is up to India to conduct its internal debates and
its democratic debates, the way it has to be conducted. So, I
have absolutely no comments on the process which is going on
in Parliament and with government in that respect," French
Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont told reporters when asked for his
reaction to the opposition to the Bill in India.
France was the first country to ink a civil nuclear
accord with India in 2008, days after the Nuclear Suppliers
Group re-opened the doors of civil nuclear commerce for the
country after a 34-year hiatus.
But the French envoy made it clear that the nuclear
rules were necessary, saying "all I can say is that worldwide
there are nuclear liability rules and practices which have
been established through the years, which are reflected in a
couple of international conventions -- Paris convention for
OECDs countries and Vienna convention with IAEA countries.
"And those who work in the nuclear sector will know
that regulations inspired by the principles of those
conventions are necessary in order to establish a robust,
equitable and efficient liability regime in any country. And
we trust the fact that India is going to establish such a
regime because it is necessary."
The government faced stiff opposition over its Civil
Nuclear Liability Bill, which provides for compensation in
case of any nuclear plant related incidents. The opposition
had claimed that the government`s move was made under the US`
India has signed civil nuclear pacts with eight
countries, including the US, Russia, UK, Kazakhstan, Namibia,
Argentina and Mongolia.
Most of these countries have been pressing for such a
bill stipulating the liability and other related options
before they enhance their cooperation with India in the civil