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BJP supports nuclear liability bill in Rajya Sabha

india Updated: Aug 30, 2010 15:46 IST
BJP supports nuclear liability bill in Rajya Sabha

Extending support to the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, BJP on Monday asked the government not to be carried away by "phoney campaign" that no global supplier would be coming to India with the proposed law fixing the suppliers' liability in the event of the nuclear mishap.

Initiating a debate on the Bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said in the Rajya
Sabha that the government should not be "apologetic" about inserting a clause making supplier along with operator liable
for any nuclear incident.

Referring to recent reports that reactor supplier from several countries would not be interested to come to India, he
described it as "phoney campaign".

Jaitley said when India would go to buy 40 reactors, the character of the global market would change. "It would no longer be sellers market which would become a buyers market.

I would urge the government not to be overtaken by this campaign." He said the inclusion of suppliers liability would be a feature unique to India and could become a global model. This was what happened in the case of WTO and the global patent regime where India had asserted its position and taken a deviation from what was being sought to be imposed by the
Western European countries and the US.

Moving the Bill, Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan said the government tried to reach out to the opposition by making 18 amendments to the bill.

Praising the BJP for its support to the Bill, essential for opening India's nuclear commerce with the world, Chavan
said, "We took upon ourselves to carry forward the good work which was started by the NDA government."

He said India would be the first country where liability has been fixed for suppliers as no other country has suffered
Bhopal gas tragedy.

Observing that passage of the Bill would complete the journey which the Prime Minister had undertaken to US five years ago, he said adding that the opening up of the nuclear commerce would increase India nuclear power capacity from
4500 MW to 40,000-50,000 MW.

The BJP came on board to support the Bill after the government agreed to address its concerns which particularly
related to suppliers liability.

The UPA which does not have the required numbers in the Rajya Sabha needs the crucial support of BJP, which has a
strength of 49 in a House of 245, for the passage of the Bill.

The Left, however, continued to oppose the measure.