Union Government has introduced Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to facilitate and fast track setting up of new nuclear projects in the country.
It was introduced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh. The Bill seeks to amend the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
Key provisions of the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Under the Act, a government company is one in which at least 51% of the paid-up share capital is held by the central government. Paid-up share capital is the capital received by a company from the issue of shares.
- Redefines paid-up share capital: Expands the definition of paid-up share capital in parent Act to include joint ventures (JV) of public sector undertakings (PSUs).
- The whole of the paid up share capital would be held by one or more PSUs and empowers the Union government to constitute its Board of Directors for such JV.
- Licenses: Henceforth it will only be granted to entities such as a government company or a department of Union Government.
- Under the parent Act, license is required for acquisition, production, use, export and import of any plant designed for the production and development of atomic energy or research.
- License granted will be cancelled if it ceases to be a government company for (i) acquiring and using substances or minerals from which atomic energy can be obtained (ii) producing atomic energy etc.
The amendment to Atomic Energy Act, 1962 has been proposed to facilitate the fast expansion of nuclear power and its generation in the country to meet electricity demand. The passage of Bill would enable Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCI) to enter into joint ventures (JVs) with other public sector undertakings (PSUs) for civil nuclear power projects.
Note: The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 empowers the Union government to produce, develop, control, and use atomic energy.