U.S. President Barack Obama has hoped that the controversial Nuclear Liability Bill will be concluded “expeditiously” by the Indian Parliament.
The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, introduction of which was deferred by the Government on March 15, figured in the talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with Obama here on Sunday.
“The President did refer to the pending Civil Nuclear Liability Bill and expressed the hope that this could be concluded as expeditiously as possible,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told journalists in her briefing on the talks.
Dr. Singh told Mr. Obama that the Bill was going through the democratic processes.
The Bill that seeks to limit the liability of a nuclear power plant operator at Rs 500 crore in case of an accident has turned out to be a political hot potato.
The passage of the Bill, which is a crucial step in the implementation of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, has got caught in a political quagmire with opposition parties objecting to certain provisions in it, including the use of word ‘cap’ for Rs. 500 crore compensation to be paid by the operator in the case of a nuclear accident.
The Government has indicated its readiness to make some changes in it and the Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament in the second part of the Budget Session starting Thursday.