US worries on n-liability bill allayed, says Krishna | delhi | Hindustan Times
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US worries on n-liability bill allayed, says Krishna

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2010 14:17 IST
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India has allayed the US' "misapprehensions" about the civil nuclear liability bill, and has assured it that the legislation was aimed at providing a level playing field for doing nuclear business with New Delhi.

"There were some misapprehensions when the nuclear bill was passed. I had discussions with US Secretary (of State) Hillary Clinton over the phone and subsequently in New York about it," External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told journalists in New Delhi on Friday.

Krishna stressed that he assured Clinton that the legislation, which fixes the liability of operator in case of a nuclear accident, was passed not with any country in mind, including the US.

"The whole context was to provide a level playing field to all those who want to do nuclear business with India," said Krishna, weeks ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to India, likely early November.

Issues relating to the nuclear liability bill are expected to figure in discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Obama.

Krishna's comments came amid unhappiness in Washington over some aspects of the legislation, especially the sections dealing with suppliers' liability.

Krishna also said that India will address doubts about its stand on the Convention on Supplementary Compensation and clarified that the nuclear liability legislation was not at variance with the CSC, which provides a global framework to deal with additional compensation in the event of an accident in a nuclear power plant.

"We have an open and positive attitude towards India joining the CSC," said Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who was also present at the interaction with media persons.

Some of US nuclear companies, that had played an important role in the passage of the historic 2008 Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, have warned that they are unlikely to start nuclear trade with India unless New Delhi becomes a party to the CSC, according to a US Congressional report.