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Nuclear Liability Bill to be tabled in Parliament today

By Abdul Nisar

New Delhi, Aug 18 (ANI): The controversial Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill will be tabled in Parliament today.

The Bill seeks to create a mechanism for compensating victims of nuclear damage arising from a nuclear accident.

It fixes no-fault liability on operators and gives them a right to recourse. It caps the liability of operator at Rs.500 crore and makes the central government liable for damage exceeding this amount up to 300 million SDR.

The passage of the Bill is also considered important for starting nuclear commerce between India and international community.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Subbirami Reddy, said: "Every issue raised by the members was discussed threadbare and amendments suggested by them are being considered."

Refusing to reveal any detail about the amendments, he indicated a possibility of the hike when he said: "I cannot divulge much but I can say that we have incorporated many suggestions in the Bill."

"We had total 24 meetings... all are being consulted including trade union leaders. The Bill is in the interest of the nation," he informed.

The Left has, however, given a dissent note as they wanted the cap to be raised to Rs. 10,000 crore.

Earlier, the government had listed the bill for introduction on March 15, but had to defer it at the last moment after it realised that it did not have the requisite numbers to see its introduction in the Lok Sabha.

In the present form, the Bill limits liability to the operator for each nuclear incident at Rs 500 crore, which is the main issue of contention. (ANI)

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