India to invest $14 million in Chabahar in 2020-2021

India’s finance ministry has announced that budget earmarked for the country’s development work at an Iranian ocean port would double in 2020-2021 to reach nearly $14 million.

3 February 2020
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India’s finance ministry has announced that budget earmarked for the country’s development work at an Iranian ocean port would double in 2020-2021 to reach nearly $14 million.

Reports in the Indian media on Sunday suggested that the budget announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman a day earlier had allocated Rs100 crore (one billion rupees) to the country’s foreign ministry for the purpose of development of Chabahar port in southeastern Iran.

The fund is more than double the amount allocated in the 2019-2020 budget which was Rs45 crore or $6.3 million, said the reports, adding that the increase in the funds had been facilitated by a recent agreement between India and the US, the country which maintains a harsh regime of sanctions against Iran.

India seeks to develop Chabahar, located on the Sea of Oman, to have an alternative trade route to the landlocked Afghanistan and further to the Central Asia region via bypassing its rival and neighbor Pakistan.

The map shows how Chabahar Port in Iran can link India with Afghanistan.  

The development work, first agreed with Iran in 2003, has stumbled in recent years mainly because of American sanctions on Iran that make it difficult for Indian companies to engage in projects in Chabahar.

However, a meeting between Indian and US authorities in Washington in December 2019 ensured that India could get fresh exemptions for work in Chabahar.

Indian's commitment to development of Iran’s Chabahar Port was renewed in a visit by the country's foreign minister to Tehran in December 2019. 

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar after meeting officials in Tehran announced that the two countries have agreed to speed up the development of Chabahar Port.

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