Gadkari to lead delegation to Iran with investment proposals

Gadkari to lead delegation to Iran with investment proposals

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will soon lead a delegation to Iran with proposals to make big-ticket investments there, including setting up a urea plant.

“We are in negotiations with Iran on gas prices. I will soon lead a delegation to Iran with investment proposals after consulting the Prime Minister,” Gadkari, who holds the Road Transport, Highways and Shipping portfolio, said at the South Asia Economic Conclave here.

The visit will take place amid negotiations between the two countries on gas price for a urea plant to be set up in Iran. While Iran is offering to supply natural gas at $2.95 per million British thermal unit for the plant that India proposes to set up at Chabahar port SEZ, India is insisting on $1.5.

With the US and other western powers easing sanctions against Iran, India has been in talks with Tehran to set up a gas-based urea manufacturing plant at the Chabahar port, besides developing a gas discovery ONGC had made.

Projects related to iron ore, steel, highways and railways are also in the pipeline.

The total investment in the projects could be more than Rs 1,00,000 crore and will depend on negotiations on oil pricing, Gadkari had earlier told PTI.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had called on Gadkari on August 14 during his visit to India.

“Their Foreign Minister had visited us. I had told him that I will come to you within a fortnight with proposals. I could not go because we want to go with a bigger proposal with investment plans of other Ministries, too,” he said.

The Minister said if Iran agrees to the pricing proposal, India will see a significant decline in the country’s Rs 80,000-crore subsidy for urea and a slash in its prices by 50%.

India has already pledged about $85 million in developing the strategic port off Iran’s south eastern coast, which would provide it a sea-land access route to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Ministries of Chemical & Fertiliser and Petroleum are working on the proposed 1.3 million tonne per annum plant.

Gadkari had visited Tehran in May, and both the nations had inked a pact to develop the Chabahar port.

In August, Gadkari said Iran has given “very good offers” to India to develop the integrated Chabahar port, which has a special economic zone (SEZ).

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