The Union government, in its efforts to arrive at a formulation acceptable to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left parties, seemed set late on Tuesday night to drop the provision in Clause 17 (b) of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 regarding “intent” on the part of the suppliers or their employees in case of a nuclear accident for an operator to claim damages, sources indicated.

“This is too important a bill,” government sources said, “to divide the country and polity.”

There will be one more opportunity to finalise the agreement and the precise wording of the formulation — that will be on Wednesday morning at the all-party meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on the running of the House, these sources added.

But clearly the government is in a mood to be conciliatory as it wants to get the Bill passed on Wednesday itself so that “negotiations with the suppliers” can start soon, sources added.

This comes after three days of discussions and hard bargaining between the government and the Opposition parties following resistance to changes introduced by the Cabinet in the bill on Friday, which were interpreted as an attempt to let the suppliers of nuclear technology/products off the hook.

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