Debate on N-liability bill begins

New Delhi: The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday by minister of state for science and technology Prithviraj Chavan.

The fact that a consensus has emerged between the government and the principal opposition party, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) over provisions on the Bill was evident at the outset with yawningly empty benches both on the treasury and the opposition sides. 

"We have brought new amendments to clause 17. We have agreed to the (concerns of) principal opposition party, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the Left parties," Chavan said in the Lok Sabha while introducing the bill.

Clause 17 refers to the liability of the suppliers of nuclear installations in case of an accident. It had become a bone of contention with the government and the opposition members bringing frequent amendments and arbitrary changes to its sub-clauses.

Chavan conceded that the Left parties still had concerns, but stressed that the Bill was not intended ''to please any one country".

Chavan said the Bill now had ''unprecedented'' political support.