Govt trying to rush through N-Bill in Par: CPI(M) | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt trying to rush through N-Bill in Par: CPI(M)

The CPI(M) today attacked the government for trying to "rush through" the civil nuclear liabilities bill in Parliament even when the US was clear that it would not lift the embargo on supplying dual use technology.

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2010 19:32 IST

The CPI(M) on Tuesday attacked the government for trying to "rush through" the civil nuclear liabilities bill in Parliament even when the US was clear that it would not lift the embargo on supplying dual use technology.

"The Prime Minister has stated in Parliament that nuclear commerce with the US will be conditional upon India receiving full civil nuclear cooperation. But the Obama Administration is very clear that these technologies will not be transferred," party leader Sitaram Yechury said in New Delhi.

"Why is the Manmohan Singh government trying to rush through the measure. Are they going to give it as a gift to the US President when he comes here," he asked.

The CPI(M) leader said the dual use technologies include heavy water and those needed for enrichment and reprocessing.

Asked whether the Left parties were in coordination with BJP on the matter, Yechury replied in the negative saying there was no convergence of views with the saffron party as it was "not firm enough" on issues, including those relating to raising the compensation cap and suppliers' liability. "There are differences (with the BJP)".

Noting that leaders of CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc had met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday where they were promised of more talks on Monday, he said "we have now been informed that the (parliamentary) Standing Committee will take a view on the points we raised, so there is no further discussion with us".

On the issues the Left parties have raised on the bill, he said they want the government to exclude all references to the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) from the proposed measure, saying majority of the countries, including India's neighbours, had
not signed or ratified it.

He said the Left parties have also sought an increase in the cap on the liability of the nuclear facility operator from Rs 500 crore to Rs 10,000 crore in case of a nuclear incident.

Maintaining that the second cap on the entire liability, in case of a nuclear incident, to be paid by the government and the operator was fixed at 300 million Special Drawing Rights, he said there should not be any ceiling at all on the entire liability.

On the CSC, the CPI(M) leader said while most countries had not signed or ratified it as yet, India's neighbours, who could be affected in case of a nuclear incident, were also not its signatories.

He said if India joined the CSC, it would have to accept that there would be no liability on the foreign suppliers. The liability would be fixed only on the operators, which would not be in national interests.