Iran De­lays Pro­posal to Re­lease Funds for Chaba­har Port

Govt of­fi­cials say Tehran yet to sub­mit plan de­spite re­minders but Iran says In­dia hold­ing up project

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Even re­minders from EXIM Bank to Iran have not helped,” a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter told ET. “There are ap­par­ently no rea­sons be­hind Iran’s de­lay in sub­mit­ting the pro­posal for the re­lease of loan,” the per­son al­leged. As per the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing ( MoU) signed dur­ing ship­ping min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari’s visit to Tehran in May 2015, EXIM Bank is to ex­tend $150 mil­lion line of credit for de­vel­op­ment of port com­plex. Another $85 mil­lion was al­lot­ted lat- er fol­low­ing con­tract be­tween the two sides for sup­ply of equip­ment to de­velop two berths in the port com­plex, per­sons fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ment told ET.

They said In­dia had of­fered to re­lease first por­tion of the line of credit within four months of the Ira­nian pro­posal on the port ex­pan­sion and de­vel­op­ment plan, but the pro­posal has yet to come.

Ira­nian gov­ern­ment sources, how­ever, told ET that the In­dian side is de­lay­ing work on the project, but did not ex­plain rea­sons for de­lay.

The project was ear­lier de­layed when the Ira­nian side uni­lat­er­ally changed terms and con­di­tions on the eve of the sign­ing of MoU in 2015 by in­tro­duc­ing a lo­cal stake­holder with­out con­sult­ing In­dia, In­dian sources said. China had ex­pressed in­ter­est to join the project prior to the nu­clear deal in mid-2015. In­dian ship­ping min­istry has cre­ated a spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle (SPV) for Chaba­har port de­vel­op­ment, which is cur­rently short­list­ing In­dian fir ms to de­ter mine equip­ment sup­pli­ers for port con­struc­tion. Ports and Man­age­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PMO) is Iran’s nodal au­thor­ity to im­ple­ment the project.

Of­fi­cials said In­dia is not un­duly per­turbed over im­pact of US sanc­tions on Iran’s mis­sile pro­gramme.

“The sanc­tions are not tar­get­ing Iran’s PMO that is in charge of Chaba­har Port. How­ever, the gov­ern­ment here is keep­ing a close watch if other sec­tors are be­ing tar­geted, which might im­pact In­doIra­nian eco­nomic part­ner­ship,” said a per­son who re­quested not to be iden­ti­fied.

The MoU was signed dur­ing Gad­kari’s visit to Tehran in May 2015

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