N-Liability Law not diluted; Rs 1500 cr upfront compensation

 New Delhi, Feb 26: Government today insisted that no provision related to compensation under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) has been waived off in the recent Indo-US agreement and said the provision of Rs 1500 crore is for immediate compensation only.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while replying to queries in Rajya Sabha on the nuclear cooperation agreement with the US, allayed apprehensions that in case of a nuclear incident, victims would get compensation of Rs 1,500 crore only.

'N-Liability Law not diluted'

"Government has not waived any provisions related to compensation under the Civil liability for Nuclear Damage Act of 2010," she said. "We are not leaving victims (in case of nuclear incident) at Rs 1,500 crore," she said while underlining that this amount is only "immediate compensation" through the Nuclear Insurance Pool. She said the central government can notify higher amount, if required.

She said the CLND Act prescribes that the maximum amount of liability in respect of each nuclear incident shall be the rupee equivalent of 300 million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (about Rs 2,610 crore). As per the FAQ posted on her ministry's website, if the total liability exceeds Rs 1,500 crores, the gap of Rs 1,110 crore would be bridged by the Central Government. Beyond Rs 2,610 crores, India will be able to access international funds under the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) once it is a party to that Convention.

The India Nuclear Insurance Pool is a risk transfer mechanism formed by GIC Re and 4 other PSUs who will together contribute a capacity of Rs 750 crores out of a total of Rs 1500 crores. She said the Indo-US understanding was reached in three rounds of discussion in a contact groups set up for advancing the implementation of civil nuclear cooperation. "During the course of discussions...India presented its position concerning the compatibility of the CLND Act," she said.


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