Several lacunae remain in `subservient` liability bill: Sinha
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Last Updated: Monday, August 30, 2010, 23:41
New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today said though his party had extended support to the civil nuclear bill in Parliament, several lacunae still remain in the "subservient" legislation which he alleged was passed in "haste" before US President Barack Obama's visit.

"This bill has made us subservient to the US. The bill is going to further encumber us. It will be an act of bondage and India will find it difficult to maintain its hard fought freedom," Sinha said.

He was speaking at a seminar organised by the BJP CA Cell on the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill, 2010. Sinha, who held Finance and later the External Affairs portfolios in the NDA government, said there were still some issues which had not been fully addressed by the government.

"We wanted that the civil nuclear bill should be India-centric. The US wants India to sign the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) to activate it as only four countries have signed it so far. I had also suggested that instead of 300 SDR, we should have its rupee equivalent in the Act," Sinha said.

He alleged that the UPA government had already given US the right to set up two reactors in India under the Arrangement and Procedures Agreement once the bill is passed.

"When I said this the government officials tried to wriggle out of it....But our US ambassador Meera Shankar later said two sites were reserved for the US and this would mean a lot of business for them," Sinha said. The senior leader, however, said after the Three-Mile accident in 1978, US is not interested in setting up reactors and prefers to be a supplier.

"US wants no liability on the material supplied. Under CSC the suppliers go scot-free. There is complete judicial protection to them in the US and outside," Sinha said. He alleged that the Civil Nuclear Bill was passed hurriedly due to US pressure.

"The Prime Minister has said there was no US pressure. Then why hurry through it in this session. Why not wait till the Winter session (of Parliament). There are five legislations pending in the Standing Committee on Finance which I head," Sinha said.


First Published: Monday, August 30, 2010, 23:41

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