Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today described the Nuclear Liability Bill as completion of journey to end apartheid against India in the field of atomic power and rejected allegations that the proposed legislation was designed to benefit American interests.
Making an intervention during the debate on the bill in the Lok Sabha, Singh asserted that atomic power was the "viable" option which could not be ignored and the legislation would enable India to widen this option by undertaking nuclear commerce with the world.
"I categorically state that this bill is a completion of journey to end the nuclear apartheid which the world had imposed on India," he said as he sought "unanimous" support for the bill in the House.
On allegations that the bill was aimed at benefitting US companies, Singh said "To say that this has been brought to promote American interests, to promote American corporations, I think, this is far from the truth."
He said such charges against him were not new as he had faced these even in 1992 when he presented the Budget as the then Finance Minister.
Pointing out that senior BJP leader L K Advani was aware of it, Singh said the whole opposition, with a few exceptions, demanded his impeachment claiming that the budget had been prepared in the US.