India not ready to budge on nuclear liability bill

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Old 25-Oct-2010
India not ready to budge on nuclear liability bill

New Delhi October 25:

Ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's November visit to India, New Delhi has reportedly told the United States that it is not ready to amend the Nuclear Liability Bill passed by Parliament.

US companies like White Westinghouse and General Electronics have expressed apprehension over the recently passed Nuclear Liability Bill that gives the operator the right to recourse and impose liability on the suppliers in case of a nuclear mishap. Major reservations have been expressed about Clause 17 (B) of the Bill.

India insists that the Bill that has been approved, not in favour of companies of a particular country, but to provide level-playing field to all the nuclear suppliers. India is also expected to join the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) of nuclear liability. US companies are run privately and are finding it extremely difficult to bear liability risks whereas other suppliers like Russia and France's Areva are government run. The US companies say that the liability bill is not in tune with the global regime and have asked India to display more flexibility.

US companies are eyeing a large pie of the potential 150 billion dollar civil nuclear technology industry in India. According to sources, India will also be raising the issue of US funding to Pakistan and will be asking the US to bring more accountability and set a mechanism to monitor the aid given to Pakistan. The doses of aid being given to Pakistan are used sanguinely by India centric Pakistan and the money is misused by Pakistan against India. US has recently announced 2 billion dollars as a military aid to Pakistan.

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