The Government on Thursday tried to address the Opposition’s reservations on the nuclear liability bill, saying no foreign pressure is behind the proposed the legislation and the Bill can be referred to a parliamentary Standing Committee for scrutiny.
The Bill, which provides for compensation in case of a nuclear accident, is a key step in operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal. Minister of state in prime minister’s office Prithviraj Chavan said in Rajya Sabha said the Bill has been under consideration for a long time as the Public Liability Insurance Act of 1991 (enacted in the aftermath of the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984) is not applicable to nuclear incidents.
“Thus, at present there is no law to provide compensation to the victims of a nuclear incident. Is there any pressure (from foreign companies to bring the Bill)? Absolutely none...,” Chavan said.
The government, he said, intends to produce a Bill in Lok Sabha to provide for civil liability for nuclear damages. He added no foreign company could set up a nuclear power plant in the country.