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Iran likely to act to get the loan for building Chabahar Port

After dithering for over one year to complete its formalities over securing a loan from India for the Chabahar Port project, Tehran is to send an application to secure the first tranche of loan of 150 million dollar from EXIM Bank of India.

With the Port project  remaining in drawing board stage for over four years, US President Donald Trump's hard hitting speech against Iran at United Nations a few days ago indicating resumption of international sanctions has further complicated the situation. International bankers are unwilling to fund the project in view of the hostile stand of United States.

Shipping Minister Nitin Gakari is however confident that Iran will be sending the applications for the loan in a few days. Sanctioning of the loan by the Exim bank of India is required to activate the contract between the two countries on the port project.

Addressing a conference in the national capital, Mr Gadkari said he is still optimistic that the Port project will take off by the end of 2018.

On laying the railway link between the Chabhar port and Zaheden on the Afghan border, the shipping minister said if the railway ministry's Ircon has problems, the shipping ministry's Indian Port Rail connectivity Limited would undertake the work.

Iran is important for New Delhi not just from strategic perspective but also on Logistics considerations the minister said adding using Chabahar port Indian goods could be transported to Russia and then on to Europe.

The government proposed to hold business discussions with Logistics firms in India, Iran, and Afghanistan besides global companies to invest in the free trade zone to be set up near the Chabahar port.

The project has been on the drawing board stage for over four years. The project includes refurbishing one of the berths at one of the terminals at Chabahar port and reconstructing a 600 meter long container handling facility.

The bilateral agreement with Iran includes operation of the terminal jointly by India Port Global, a joint venture company between JNPT Nhava sheva and Kandla Port in partnership with Iran's Aria Banader.

The port will provide connectivity to India to reach Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan besides providing a corridor to Russia and Europe.


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