U.S. expects to discuss “new legislation” on implementing liability law

“New legislation” to implement India's nuclear liability law is expected to form part of the discussions during the United States-India Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi next week, according to a top administration official here.

Speaking at a pre-Dialogue briefing, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake said it would, however, be up to the Indian government to explain what this new legislation would contain.

He reiterated the Obama administration's view that the U.S. did “expect that [India] will ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation [CSC] before the end of the year as they committed.”

Indian Ambassador here Meera Shankar underscored, during a briefing a few weeks ago, that while India had said publicly that it would ratify the CSC this year, “It is for the U.S. companies now to proceed with commercial negotiations ... and we would hope that the companies would move forward quickly in this regard.” She had added that the nuclear companies “have been in touch,” and held discussions and workshops with India's nuclear power apparatus.

Yet, Mr. Blake implied that in parallel to any talks that nuclear power companies may be having, the two governments' leaders meeting on July 19 in New Delhi would also take up the issue in their discussions. In particular, Mr. Blake said he hoped the new legislation would be consistent with the CSC.

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