The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday charged the government with pushing ahead on the Nuclear Civil Liability Bill to “gift-wrapping” it ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit amid reports that the Left parties submitted dissent notes in the Standing Committee examining the proposed legislation.
Representatives of the CPI(M), CPI and AIFB have reportedly submitted notes of dissent to go with the report of the Standing Committee on Science and Technology at its meeting on Tuesday. The committee is expected to submit its report to Parliament on Wednesday.
“The government wants it [legislation] gift-wrapped before President Obama arrives in India,” CPI(M) Parliamentary party leader Sitaram Yechury told journalists here. Mr. Obama is scheduled to visit the country during November.
He said that while the four Left parties held discussions with the government last week, the promised response from the government had not come yet.
The Left had raised four issues: India should not be part of any international convention, which, it felt, would limit the options to hold the suppliers liable; expand the scope of the proposed legislation to include non-civilian nuclear installations since in the case of an accident it might impact civilian population too; raise compensation cap to Rs.10,000 crore; and bring the supplier within the ambit of liability against the provision that mentions of such a clause in case of wilful problem in design and structure.
Mr. Yechury said that while replying to several debates on the civil nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India would receive full nuclear civil cooperation from the United States, transfer of technology had not taken place. He said this included enrichment, reprocessing and heavy water.