Liability bill consideration in Monsoon, hopes Gvt
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Last Updated: Friday, May 07, 2010, 18:19
New Delhi: After introducing the controversial nuclear liability bill in the Lok Sabha amid opposition protests, Government today said it hopes to bring it for consideration in the Monsoon session of Parliament.

"The bill will go to the concerned standing committee, which would deliberate upon it in the next two months. I hope it will come with the report in the Monsoon session," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.

He dismissed the suggestion that the government faced embarrassment for not being able to introduce it earlier.

The Civil Liability For Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, which provides for payment of compensation in the event of a nuclear accident, was introduced in the Lower House amid protests and walkout by opposition NDA and Left parties which termed it as "illegal" and "unconstitutional".

The bill, whose passage is a key requirement for operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, provides for the maximum liability of Rs 500 crore on the part of the operator in the case of a nuclear accident, a provision that is the main cause of opposition by the NDA and Left parties.

Significantly, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, who had opposed the bill in March when the first attempt was made to introduce it, appeared to be siding with the government this time.

Replying to a question on enlisting the backing of SP, RJD and BSP, Bansal said the three parties have given their support to the UPA in writing.

"It is still there and has not been withdrawn," he said while maintaining it did not mean that they would subscribe to all views of the government.

On the fate of Women's Reservation Bill, which had already been passed by Rajya Sabha, Bansal said that the government has held one round of consultations with political parties on the issue but the process has not been completed.

He said that keeping its promise on the issue, the government is talking to the parties concerned. Bansal said that the talks could not proceed further due to a lot of business in the Budget Session.

On the controversial issue of caste census, the minister said it was discussed in the Cabinet meeting but the deliberations could not conclude.

He said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already said that the Cabinet will take a decision on the issue.

Asked whether it was an embarrassment for the government that it marshalled out seven Rajya Sabha members for their "unruly" behaviour while protesting against women's bill, Bansal said it was not a question of embarrassment as the use of Marshals was as per the law.

"Moreover, the decision to use Marshals is not taken by the government but by the Presiding Officers of both Houses," he said.

Bansal also disapproved of adjournments of Parliament by ruling party members saying they should not behave like the opposition.


First Published: Friday, May 07, 2010, 18:19

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