Govt hints at dropping contentious proposal on suppliers' liability | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt hints at dropping contentious proposal on suppliers' liability

As it prepares to move the nuclear liability bill in Parliament on Wednesday, government today sought to rope in Left parties amidst indications that it could consider dropping a contentious proposal regarding the suppliers' liability.

delhi Updated: Aug 24, 2010 22:55 IST

As it prepares to move the nuclear liability bill in Parliament on Wednesday, government today sought to rope in Left parties amidst indications that it could consider dropping a contentious proposal regarding the suppliers' liability.

Indications emerged that the government may not be averse to dropping the provision regarding "intent" on the part of
the suppliers or their employees in case of a nuclear accident for an operator to claim damages, a formulation hotly opposed by BJP and Left parties.

Amid the deadlock between the government and opposition parties, industry bodies petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arguing that any stringent provision for supplier liability would be counter-productive to efforts to expand the civil nuclear sector.

The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, is listed for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha tomorrow
in the backdrop of 18 amendments approved by the Union Cabinet on the basis of recommendations of a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan, who met BJP leaders yesterday, continued his efforts to persuade the opposition parties as he held discussions with CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury today.

He promised to consider the views of Left parties but the latter remained non-committal till they read the fine print.

"The Minister appeared willing to consider our points of view, especially those relating to the suppliers' liability. But we have to see the fine print of the proposed legislation," Yechury told PTI after the meeting.

He quoted Chavan as saying that the government would consider relevant amendments moved by Left parties in the
course of discussion on the bill to be tabled in Parliament tomorrow.

BJP also chose to wait and watch the government's moves in Parliament on the issue and then take a call. "We (BJP) have suggested the formulation on civil nuclear bill in the meeting between Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Chavan. We will wait for a formulation from the government, see what they have to say and await the outcome in Parliament," BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

UPA constituent NCP said the bill should be passed by taking the opposition parties into confidence.