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Updated: September 19, 2013 19:07 IST

Govt to abide by Parliament’s mandate: Khurshid

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External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. File photo: V. Sudershan
The Hindu
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. File photo: V. Sudershan

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday refuted reports about proposed signing of an agreement, which may not be in tune with Indian nuclear liability law, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s forthcoming visit to the US and said the government would go by the mandate of parliament on the issue.

He said the government, which is bound by the rules framed in Parliament, would not take any decision which is against national interest.

“Laws are framed by Parliament and nobody can overrule it.

Then, how the government can? This is impossible. The government would do according to the law of the land and not take any decision which is against the nation’s interest,” Mr. Khurshid told reporters on the sidelines of an exhibition.

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s US visit, a controversy has broken out over the nuclear liability law with reports suggesting that an agreement would be signed which might not be in tune with India’s domestic law.

It is said that the Cabinet Committee on Security would consider a proposal to sign an agreement between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and the US-based operator Westinghouse Electric Company.

The US sees the Civil Liability for Nuclear Disaster Act as a hurdle in selling nuclear reactors to India.

The law allows NPCIL to seek partial compensation from suppliers if their reactors are involved in a nuclear accident.

But in an opinion given to the Department of Atomic Energy, Attorney General G E Vahanvati is learnt to have said it is up to the nuclear plant operator to invoke section 17 of the Act regarding liability of suppliers in case of a mishap.

Mr. Khurshid said the Indo-US civil nuclear deal had been signed but it doesn’t mean that a commercial agreement should also be signed.

He said “the US has done enough for us and we should also reciprocate but that doesn’t mean we will sign a deal just to make some one happy going against the law, Parliament and against India’s national interest.”

He said the government would do only those things which have been mandated by Parliament.

The Minister stressed that “the views of four other nuclear regime nations have changed towards us after signing of the Indo-US Civil nuclear deal”.

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Its is in the interest of the India to boost the bilateral trade with
U.S in order to meet our ever rising demand of various sectors. One of
the paramount important sectors is energy and of course defence, in
the light of the soaring demand we have to sign the pact but only
after keeping our national interest in mind, any decision taken in
haste or in the heat of the moment will pose a direct threat,therefore
the controversial clause to hold the supplier accountable in case of
any mishap must be contemplated thoroughly. We have to uphold the
sovereignty and must not give in to the demands of U.S. . We have had
witnessed the gory incidents of Bhopal tragedy and wounds are yet to
heal, hence a balanced approach is the need of the hour and any act to
hijack our foreign policy must be nipped in the bud.We have seen in
the case of FDI where the local sourcing clause is diluted in order to
entice the foreign player which may turn out to be inimical in the
long term. So careful while dealing

from:  neeraj bhatt
Posted on: Sep 21, 2013 at 13:04 IST

Hope the Govt. does what the foreign affairs minister said as per the
report in these columns. Respect the people and guarantee their safety

from:  kasthuri rangan
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 23:46 IST

Then why Attorney General of India give such an opinion, clear sign of subverting the Parliment of The Republic of India. How would UPA fix responsibility of such blatant attempt to subvert/circumvent Parliament by an Goverment of India appointed Individual.

from:  Martin Kurian
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 21:26 IST
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