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N-liability bill be vetted by select panel: SP

March 31, 2010 16:25 IST

While terming the Nuclear Liability Bill as beneficial for the country's atomic power generation, the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday said it wanted the bill to be vetted by a select committee of all parties before it is introduced in Parliament as it has several loopholes.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the Nuclear Liability Bill will be introduced in the second half of the Budget Session and suggestions will be invited from all parties before making changes in it. SP feels that the bill is beneficial for the country as it is aiming towards country's nuclear atomic power generation plans.

"However, it should be vetted by a select committee of all parties, which should be formed for this purpose in Parliament, before the bill is passed," SP national general secretary Mohan Singh said.

Talking to reporters, Singh said the bill has several loopholes like supplier countries will have no liabilities while all the liabilities are to be borne by the operator countries. "SP also feels that this bill is a result of skewed thinking on part of the government," he said.

Singh said nowadays bills are referred to Parliamentary Standing Committees, which comprise of mostly persons who are not in anyway connected with the subject.

"Earlier there were select committees in Parliament, which comprised of subject experts who helped in constructing the concerned bill. We want that before introducing the Bill

in Parliament, a select committee comprising of subject experts on nuclear issues be formed which can help in constructing the bill by making adequate changes in it," the SP leader said.

He said India has been a witness to one of the world's worst disasters namely the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal.

"In such a scenario, this bill is needed as it will address grievances in case of such mishaps. However, the government should also be aware of the fact that the bill tends to favour private companies that can sell outdated equipments to India. Government should not hurry the bill and we want that after a select committee vets it, the bill should be passed in Parliament only after consultations with all parties," Singh said.

On the Foreign Universities Bill, Singh said his party will oppose it as the proposed legislation will "endanger" the Indian universities.

The government plans to introduce the bill in the second half of the Budget Session.

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