The private sector will be operating nuclear power plants in India soon, said the Vice-president of India M Hamid Ansari. He was speaking during the 52nd graduation function of the BARC training school. Speaking during the 52nd graduation function of the BARC Training School, Vice President of India M Hamid Ansari said that in the not so distant future, private utility providers would run nuclear power plants. He went on to quote the ’08-09 Economic Survey that states that the Atomic Energy Act needed to be reformed to permit private corporate investment in nuclear power sector which would be subject to regulation by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and the Atomic Energy Commission. He further also said that the survey called for designing rules relating to private and foreign entry and permitting up to 49% in the sector. However, Ansari urged caution while opening up sectors for private players and protecting public perception of regulatory frameworks. Speaking on past experiences in regulation of a closed sector thrown open to private corporate and foreign investment, he said that the public perception of regulatory oversight had been dented as a result of allegations of regulatory bias and conflict of interest in corporate conflicts. Though he did not mention the Ambani feud, the inference is clear. The Ambani feud has seen Anil accusing the oil ministry of favoring Mukesh in their law suit. The opening up of the telecom sector a decade ago too has been marred by allegations of foul play and there has been controversy over the auction of spectrum. With the nuclear power sector also on the verge of being opened up for private participation, Hamid Ansari said that the country must exercise utmost caution in the regulation of nuclear power sector ensuring public interest and safety. Also present during the 52nd graduation function of the BARC Training School was Governor S C Jamir, Minister for Social Justice Chandrakant Handore and the management of BARC. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
November 18, 2016