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Nuclear industry worried as India agonises over Nuclear Liability

Industry upset with N-liability bill changes – India – The Times of IndiaTNN, Aug 25, 2010, NEW DELHI: Amid indications that the government may amend the nuclear liability bill yet again to accommodate the Opposition’s protest against dilution of the clause dealing with supplier liability, industry on Tuesday mounted a campaign warning that the toughening of the very same provisions could scare away suppliers — both Indian and foreign.

Government indicated to leaders of both BJP and Left that it was not averse to heeding the demand to do away with the change in Clause 17(b) which says the supplier could be held liable for a nuclear mishap only if he is proven to have intentionally caused it. This was a deviation from what the BJP had agreed to, and was seen as setting the bar of evidence too high for anyone to reach.

The sudden change immediately unravelled the understanding the government had reached with the BJP and led the principal Opposition, the Left as well as others to accuse the government of trying to let suppliers off the hook.

Anxious to secure passage of the bill which is crucial to operationalisation of the nuclear deal with the US and other countries, government on Tuesday evening conveyed to the Opposition that it was ready to revert to the formulation in the original bill which sought to enable operators to seek damages from suppliers for mishaps caused by “wilful act or gross negligence”. ….
Chandrajit Banerjee, secretary general of CII, took an identical line in the letter he addressed to Chavan. Banerjee stressed that that no insurance coverage was available to suppliers in the nuclear business, saying that this was the reason why international liability regimes “use the channelling principle to make the operator’s liability absolute and exclusive, thus ensuring effective and timely settlement of nuclear damage claims”.

Industry upset with N-liability bill changes – India – The Times of India


August 25, 2010 - Posted by | India, politics | , , ,

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