BJP to help pass civil nuclear Bill

New Delhi, Aug. 17: The prospect of quick passage of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 through Parliament turned brighter on Tuesday with the Opposition BJP saying it was willing to cooperate with the government, though with some riders.

With this, the Left has got marginalised on the issue, given that parties like the SP, BSP and RJD do not have rigid views on the Bill.

The parliamentary standing committee on science and technology headed by Congress MP, Mr T. Subbarami Reddy, which had been examining the draft Bill over several months, is expected to submit its report to both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday.

While Dr Subbarami Reddy and Mr Jabir Husain will table it in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Pradeep Tamta and Dr Mirza Mehboob Beg will present the report in the Lok Sabha.

After this, the Union Cabinet will consider the report and then bring in a new Bill for consideration and passage, possibly in the current session itself.

The Bill is crucial to give effect to the civil nuclear deal reached with the United States recently, and to enable nuclear commerce to take place smoothly with the US and other countries.

The government had earlier found it difficult to ensure its passage given the determined Opposition to it by the NDA, Left and other parties. A series of meetings by Mr Pranab Mukherjee, with senior BJP leaders over the past few days resolved the issue.

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