No headway in India-US civil N-deal


US urges New Delhi to align its nuclear liability law with the international convention

The much-awaited India-US Energy Dialogue has failed to push the stalled civil nuclear deal forward, even as the US urged India to align its nuclear liability law with the international convention on the issue.

Ahead of a meeting of a working group on civil nuclear energy cooperation in Mumbai on Wednesday, visiting US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz underscored the need for India to bring its Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, in line with the international regime. “We need to pick up pace here; other areas of (energy) collaboration have progressed much faster. One of the key issues is resolution of the liability convention to see that India is aligned with the international convention on supplementary compensation, which we expect to come into force this year…Resolving this convention is important for all companies, including Indian ones. A small contract was put into force, in terms of advancing a deal there,” Moniz said on Tuesday, after concluding the Delhi leg of the India-US Energy Dialogue.

However, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, co-chairing the dialogue from the Indian side, said the hurdles to the successful implementation of the civil nuclear agreement had to be removed within the framework of existing laws. “Whenever you have something new and complex, different stakeholders can have different views. It is true it is not only the US that raised this issue. Other partners with whom we want to pursue nuclear cooperation have similar concerns. We are hopeful within the existing framework of the civil nuclear liability Act, it will be possible to resolve these problems,” he said.

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SOURCE: http://www.business-standard.com/

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