Manmohan open to talks on nuclear liabilities Bill | india | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan open to talks on nuclear liabilities Bill

The government is willing to talk to the opposition to resolve differences over the nuclear liabilities Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday. “We have an open mind. If there are any deficiencies in the bill, we can discuss them,” he said, reports HT Correspondent.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2010 02:36 IST
HT Correspondent

The government is willing to talk to the opposition to resolve differences over the nuclear liabilities Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.

“We have an open mind. If there are any deficiencies in the bill, we can discuss them,” he said on the sidelines of a function at Rashtrapati Bhawan. “We will present the bill in Parliament after which it should go to a standing committee where all differences can be resolved.”

Opposition parties are opposing even the introduction of the bill in Parliament.

Critics of the bill have suggested that the prescribed compensation in the bill limits the rights of the victims if there is a nuclear disaster, and by doing so, protects the interests of the operator.

“This notion is plain wrong,” said a senior government functionary. “What the bill seeks is to ensure a guaranteed compensation immediately, in the event of an accident, based on a no-fault liability provision. It means the claimants do not have to prove the fault of the operator to claim compensation under the proposed law.”

The rights of citizens to claim compensation under other, existing laws remain.

“But this will require proving the fault of the operator,” the official said.

According to the government, the bill’s intent is not to limit the compensation, but to ensure at least some immediate compensation.

Refuting suggestions that the government was in a hurry to push the bill through, he said a parliamentary standing committee would have the opportunity to study it and make changes. “If any point needs to be stated specifically, that can be done in the standing committee,” he said.