N-bill: Greenpeace for unlimited compensation cap

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 11:22

New Delhi: Environmental organisation Greenpeace Wednesday asked opposition parties in Parliament to not settle at a compensation cap of Rs 1,500 crore in case of an accident as proposed in the civil nuclear liability bill.

"There should not be any cap on accidental compensation. Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was opposing it but now they have agreed on Rs 1,500 crore. We are appealing to all the parties to oppose any cap on accidental damage in the bill," said a Greenpeace activist.

Ending weeks of impasse over the contentious civil nuclear liability bill, the BJP Tuesday indicated its willingness to accept the trebling of compensation in case of an accident to Rs 1,500 crore.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology looking into the bill Tuesday finalised its report which recommends raising of the compensation cap from Rs 500 crore, as provided in the earlier draft, to Rs 1,500 crore or "such other enhanced amount notified by the government from time to time", a well-placed source said.

The report is to be tabled in Parliament Wednesday.

With a view to fast-tracking the passage of the legislation in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Congress called for forging consensus on the bill, a pre-requisite for implementing the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal.

The BJP, which had earlier resisted any mention of a cap in the proposed legislation, appeared to have settled for the revised amount because of the provision for a further hike through a government notification if required.

The Left parties, including the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Forward Bloc, still have some reservations about the legislation and are likely to oppose it when it is introduced in Parliament, which could happen later this week.

The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, was introduced in the Budget Session of Parliament. It was later referred to the standing committee.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is keen to get the legislation passed before US President Barack Obama arrives here in November for talks, during which the two leaders are expected to review the progress on the nuclear deal.

IANS



First Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 11:22

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