New Delhi: The government on Monday sought to take
the sting out of opposition attack on the nuclear liability
bill contending that it was only carrying forward the
initiatives taken by the previous NDA regime.
Efforts to bring in a legislation on civil liability on
nuclear damages were first made by the NDA regime in 2000 when
the issue cropped up during the setting up of Russian-made
atomic plants at Kudankulam, Minister of State in the PMO
Prithviraj Chavan told reporters here.
He said the erstwhile NDA government had set up a
committee of legal experts to look into the issues arising out
of a possible nuclear accident which were examined by senior
officials in the Ministry of External Affairs and the
Department of Atomic Energy.
"We continued with that effort which was left
unfinished," Chavan said, adding that the Committee of experts
and the senior government officials had clearly recommended
that a civil liability for nuclear damages bill be enacted.
Rejecting suggestions that the government was acting
under US pressure, he said that once enacted, the law would
enable India to be part of the international Convention of
Supplementary Compensation (CSC).
"There is no comprehensive legal regime for compensation
of nuclear damage and the sooner we do the better it is for
us," Chavan said.