Ambassador Roemer hopeful of Parliament's nod on N-liability Bill

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (ANI): United States Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer on Monday expressed hope that the Nuclear Liability Bill would help strengthen trust between the two countries.

Interacting with the media on the sidelines of a handloom fair, here, Ambassador Roemer opined that the India-US nuclear deal is an important issue and hoped that the Indian parliament would endorse the agreement at the earliest.

"Now we are hopeful and optimistic that this (passing of Nuclear liability bill) will happen sooner than later and that India will step up to its responsibility and obligation to complete this deal so that we can continue to not only to broaden our trust and our confidence," Ambassador Roemer said.

"This (Indo-US nuclear agreement) is an important deal that the United States and India need to be able to finish and complete and part of this completion is for the parliament to pass this Bill, " he added.

On Monday, the Union Government deferred the tabling of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill in the Lok Sabha following protests by the Opposition parties.

Further, Ambassador Roemer lauded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's commitment towards the deal and noted that both India and the USA share the same vision.

"We respect and we expect the process here in India, the legislative process. We highly respect Manmohan Singh's leadership. He is committed through the Republican dministration, Bush's administration to get this done, Democratic administration with President Obama to get this done," Ambassador Roemer said

"We have a very good relations with the Parliament and the beauty of this partnerships has been that Democrats and Republicans, BJP members and Congress members, Mr. Vajpayee and now Mr. Singh, have all supported this deal and so we are hopeful with that broad support and the critical need that Indians want electricity and want this plan to go up so that the rural communities can get light and their children can read at night. That is a shared vision of both our countries," he added.

For the UPA led Government, the Nuclear Liability Bill is vital for the implementation of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. It is keen to have this cleared before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits the United States in April.

The Bill pegs the maximum amount of liability in case of each nuclear accident at three billion rupees (66,021,128 US dollars) to be paid by the operator of the nuclear plant.

However, the draft bill also has provisions that would enable the government to increase or decrease the amount of liability of any operator.(ANI)

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