India assures Iran that payments due to it would be expedited
New Delhi, February 25, 2011
India today assured Iran that it would clear all payments due to it as expeditiously as possible, especially on account of oil and oil products.
The assurance was given by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at a meeting with Iranian Economic Afairs and Finance Minister Seyyed Shamseddin Hooseini here today.
India has been trying for some time now to resolve the problems with respect to settlement of current account transactions with Iran under the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism.
Some weeks ago, the Government had said that it was a technical issue and that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was seized of the matter
According to an official press release, Mr Mukherjee told Dr Hooseini that the Government was working out an arrangement in this regard through Deutsche Bundesbank (DBB), the German Central Bank, to expedite payments to Iran.
He said both countries should work out a mechanism through which they could make arrangements for timely payments by removing botleneceks.
Mr Mukherjee said India wanted to implement the decisions taken in the 16th Session of the Joint Commission of both the countries which was held in last July in Delhi.
He also said that India wanted to diversify the commodity basket for trade beyond oil and petroleum products. He asked his Iranian counterpart to impress upon his External Affairs counterpart to expedite the opening of Indian Cultural Centre in Iran which would further strengthen the people to people relationship and cultural ties between the two countries.
Mr Mukherjee said that, in order to further improve and strengthen the financial and economic relationship, India was interested in expediting the finalization of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Iran on a priority basis.
Besides, India is also interested in finalising and signing the Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) with Iran in the near future which will further boost investment by the prospective investors from both the sides, he said.
Dr Hooseini said India wanted to strengthen its relationship with India not only in the field of culture but also in trade and commerce. He invited more investment from Indian companies.