Govt open to make N-bill more robust, transparent

Last Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 21:36

New Delhi: Government today said it was open
to make the Nuclear Liability Bill "more robust and
transparent" and hoped that the Parliamentary panel submits
its report within a week about the final meeting on the issue.

"We are open to making the Bill more robust, more people
friendly and more transparent. If there are good suggestions
made by the committee, we will look at it positively,"
Minister of State in the PMO, Prithviraj Chavan, told
reporters here.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and
Technology, headed by T Subbirami Reddy, has been examining
the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010, which was
introduced in the Lok Sabha on May 7 amid stiff resistance
from the opposition.

"The Committee will be meeting, I am told, for final
round of evidence on August 2-3. After that they will look at
the draft report and go into clause-by-clause discussions. We
are hoping within a week or so they will submit the report to
Parliament," Chavan said.

He said as soon as the report is submitted to Parliament,
the Department of Atomic Energy will look at the suggestions
made by the committee.

"Whatever is acceptable we will take it to the Cabinet to
get the amendments approved and immediately afterwards, we
will take the Bill for consideration," Chavan said.

The minister refused to comment on the extent to which
the cap on maximum compensation to be paid by a nuclear
operator would be raised.

The Bill, in its current form, caps the maximum
compensation to be paid by a nuclear plant operator in case of
an accident at Rs 500 crore.

The committee is understood to have agreed to raise the
cap significantly and also suggest changes to certain key
clauses of the Bill that deal with liability on the part of
the supplier of nuclear equipment.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 21:36

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