Bill to be introduced in second half of Budget Session
March, 17th 2010
Determined to go ahead with the nuclear liability bill, the government intends to introduce it in Parliament in the second half of the Budget session that begins on April 12.
Prior to this, the government intends to reach out to BJP and Left parties to clear their "misconceptions" over the proposed legislation which is crucial for operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will depute Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee or National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon to talk to leaders of BJP and Left parties during the recess period, sources said here today.
The PM's envoy is expected to meet leaders of opposition in both Houses Sushma Swaraj (Lok Sabha) and Arun Jaitley (Rajya Sabha) and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.
The envoy could also interact with former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, who had raised serious objections to the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill.
Government was slated to introduce the bill in the Lok Sabha yesterday but decided against it at the last moment in view of stiff opposition from Left parties and BJP.
As part of Congress efforts to brace the Opposition onslaught on the bill, Menon today briefed some senior party leaders on the benefits of the legislation and the necessity for bringing it.
The bill, which provides for compensation in the event of a nuclear mishap and the modalities involved, is being opposed by Left and BJP as they feel the compensation amount of Rs 500 crore is not adequate and the foreign suppliers would be allowed to go scot-free.