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India to invest in Iran in Rupees amid sanction fears.

Date: 16-02-2018
Subject: India to invest in Iran in Rupees amid sanction fears
NEW DELHI: India, for the first time beyond Bhutan and Nepal, will invest in a foreign country — Iran — through its own national currency Rupee to bypass any trouble arising out of impending US sanctions. 

PM Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are expected to put a mechanism in place for this purpose when they meet here on Saturday. 

Rouhani is expected to seek Indian investments across sectors from ports, railway network and SEZ when he meets the Indian leadership and address a business meet here on Saturday. India has decided to invest in its national currency in Iran, which will be first of its kind, beyond Nepal and Bhutan, persons familiar with the matter said. 

Rouhani arrived in Hyderabad on Thursday evening and will lead Friday prayers in a leading mosque in Southern Indian city before arriving in Delhi. Rouhani who has been to Hyderabad before in a different capacity was keen to revisit the city and connect with Iranian legacy there. 

The Indian investments in Rupees will get converted into Iranian Rial through banking mechanism allowing investments from here, including in the Chabahar Port complex, said one of the persons quoted above. 

India which has started operating Chabahar Port on Iran’s east coast as a way to gain access to Afghanistan is assisting to expand port complex that will be Delhi’s gateway to Central Asia and beyond. 

Connectivity besides energy sector will top Rouhani’s agenda in India. Iran is also key link to INSTC project. An agreement on India’s role in Phase-1 of Chabahar Port is expected to be inked on Saturday. 

The two sides were also trying to narrow differences over Farzad B gas field that Oil and Natural GasBSE -0.21 % Corp discovered a decade ago. A delegation from Iran’s Pars Oil and Gas Company is holding talks on this. 

India is also looking into options to expand energy ties with Iran beyond oil imports and Farzad-B gas field. “There are a number of projects for expansion of ties in the pipeline that not only will be in the interests of both nations but also in the interest of the region,” Iran’s ambassador to India, Gholamreza Ansari, said in a national day speech last week. US threat to reimpose sanctions on Iran has compelled India to explore different avenues to invest in Iran. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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