|The Cabinet recently approved a proposal to provide $150-million credit from EXIM Bank for the development of Chabahar Port in Iran.|
Chabahar Port lies outside the Persian Gulf in Iran and will help in expanding maritime commerce in the region. 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 firms to enhance their footprint in the region.
According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between India and Iran on May 6, 2015, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of $85.2 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.9 million on a 10-year lease.
The ownership of equipment will be transferred to the Iranian side on completion of 10-year period or for an extended period, based on mutual agreement. The Iranian side had requested for provision of a credit of $150 million in accordance with the MoU. According to the MoU, operation of the two berths will commence within 18 months after the signing of the contract.
The two berths will be operated by India Ports Global Private, a joint venture between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust — two major ports under the shipping ministry.
The Cabinet has authorised the ministries of finance, external affairs and shipping to approve the final contract with Iran and for resolution of any issue arising in implementation of the project.
It also authorised the shipping ministry to form a company in Iran to implement the Chabahar Port development and related activities.