India committed to nuclear liability bill: US

India committed to nuclear liability bill: US

The stalled Bill, whose passage in Indian Parliament is a must, is a crucial step for full implementation of the historic Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

"In all of our conversations with the Indian government, they have consistently said that they remain committed to fulfilling this commitment under the civil nuclear deal, to pass civil liability legislation," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake told reporters at the Foreign Press Center here.

He said the US was fully committed in implementing the civil nuclear deal signed with India.

"I think the opposition in India has recently expressed its objections to aspects of that legislation, so it will be up to the government of India to figure out how to move forward on this. But again, they've always said to us that they remain committed to moving that legislation," he said.

The Indian Government is facing stiff resistance from Opposition parties over the legislation and has indicated its willingness to hold talks with them.

BJP and Left parties have blocked the introduction of the bill in the Lok Sabha, saying the nuclear plant operators were being let off with a meagre liability in the event of accidents.

However, the Government says the civil liability on the operator stipulated in the Nuclear Damage Bill has not been capped at Rs 500 crore and that the amount can be enhanced.
The amount was specified in the bill to enable the operator to get insurance cover as it could not be open-ended, sources had said.

The US official's comments also comes four days after the two countries clinched a Reprocessing Agreement.

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