Centre clears $150 m credit to Iran for Chabahar Port development

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 24, 2016

For greater trade and investment flow with Iran and neighbouring countries, the government today cleared proposals for development of strategic Chabahar port in the Persian Gulf nation including through a $150 million credit from Exim Bank.

“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the proposal of the Ministry of Shipping for provision and operationalisation of credit of $150 million from EXIM Bank for development of Chabahar Port in Iran,” a Shipping Ministry statement said after the meeting.

The Cabinet has also authorised the Shipping Ministry to form a company in Iran for implementing the Chabahar Port Development Project and related activities.

The strategic port, which is located off Iran’s south eastern coast will provide India a sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.

In May last year, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had visited Tehran where India and Iran signed a pact to develop the Chabahar port.

“India is negotiating this project to facilitate the growing trade and investment with Iran and other countries in the region, notably Afghanistan and also to provide opportunities to Indian companies to penetrate and enhance their footprint in the region,” the statement said.

Chabahar Port lies outside the Persian Gulf in Iran and will help in expanding maritime commerce in the region.

As per the MoU signed between the two nations in May last year, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a ten year lease, the statement said.

“Ownership of equipment will be transferred to Iranian side on completion of 10-year period or for an extended period, based on mutual agreement,” it said adding, the Iranian side had requested for provision of a credit of $150 million in accordance with the MoU.

As per the pact, operation of two berths will commence within a period of maximum 18 months after the signing of the contract.

The two berths will be operated by the India Ports Global Private Ltd, a company promoted by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust — two major ports working under the Ministry of Shipping.

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Published on February 24, 2016
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