India and Turkmenistan will explore the possibility of expanding the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) by linking it to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran rail link.

This was decided at the the 13 th meeting of the India-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC). From the Indian side Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan led a delegation to Astana, Kazakhstan. Pradhan was the co-chair at the meeting and the Minister of Energy of Republic of Kazakhstan, Kanat Bozumbayev, co-chaired the meeting from Kazakh side.

In an official statement, the government said that INSTC has already become operational by agreeing to conduct a dry run feasibility study on the railway link.

Both sides also agreed to work on application of nuclear science in the areas of health and agriculture. They also agreed to develop and deepen bilateral relations in the field of agriculture, mining and civil aviation sector.

Bozumbayev invited Indian investments in the hydrocarbon sector, infrastructure, peaceful use of nuclear energy, co-production of films, cooperation in food processing and information technology.

At the end of the meeting, both the sides expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the meeting and expressed confidence that it will further strengthen the engagement in all areas of mutual interests. Both Ministers directed their Ministries and Departments to work continuously to accomplish the action points arising out of the meeting.