India, Iran ink 10-year pact to equip, operate Chabahar port | India News

NEW DELHI: India and Iran Monday signed a 10-year contract to further equip and operate a Chabahar port terminal. The contract will see India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) investing $120 million in equipping the strategic port that provides India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan which denies India land access to the region.
During his visit to Tehran on Monday, minister of shipping, ports and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal witnessed the signing of the new 10-year contract between IPGL and Ports & Maritime Organisation of Iran (PMO).According to govt sources, under the contract, IPGL will commit to further equip and operate the port for the duration of the contract. At the end of the 10-year period, both sides would further extend their cooperation in Chabahar, they said.
“India has also offered an INR credit window equivalent to $250 million, for mutually identified projects aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure,” said a source.
With the operationalisation of India’s long-term investment in Chabahar, this port is likely to become an important hub for connecting the landlocked countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan with India’s booming economy, according to Indian officials. This is the first time India will take over the management of an overseas port.
“The long-term bilateral contract on Chabahar Port Operation was signed between IPGL of India and the Port & Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran, enabling operation of Shahid-Beheshti in Chabahar Port Development Project for a period of 10 years. This agreement aims to enhance regional connectivity and facilitate trade, particularly between India, Iran and Afghanistan,” said govt in an official statement.
The Chabahar Port has provided much needed sea-access to the landlocked countries of the region, including Afghanistan, and emerged as a commercial transit hub, according to Indian authorities. It is seen as a more economical and stable route for landlocked countries to reach India and the international market. Chabahar is a deep water port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran. It is the closest Iranian port to India.

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