Free Press Journal

Parliament asks government to guarantee insurance to GIC


New Delhi: A parliamentary panel has urged the government to extend sovereign guarantee for the creation of an adequate insurance pool to help General Insurance Corporation devise an insurance product for covering the risks associated with the generation of nuclear energy.

In a report presented in Parliament today, the Committee on Public Undertakings urged the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to pursue the matter, which is under consideration, with the Ministry of Finance.

“The matter should be pursued with Finance Ministry at the highest level so that sovereign guarantee is extended by the government for creation of an adequate nuclear insurance pool so that GIC will be in a position to offer the insurance product,” it said.

DAE in consultation with GIC is trying to develop a nuclear insurance pool to help formulate an insurance policy for covering liability vis-a-vis nuclear energy production. Since the nuclear industry in the country does not have adequate capacity and resources to raise the nuclear insurance pool, DAE has requested Finance Ministry to provide assistance by extending a sovereign guarantee for Rs 750 crore.

The rest of the fund target for the Rs 1,500-crore pool will come from the central government. In its report, the committee has also asked DAE to take adequate safeguards to ensure that there is no theft or loss of nuclear material, especially “keeping in view the current trend of terrorism”.

“The committee would hope that the depleted uranium and plutonium after the reprocessing of the fuel should be properly cooled and stored before it is ultimately vitrified,” the government was told.