India to export $150 million rails to Chabahar in July

The rail linkages will help Afghanistan to reach Iranian port, as an alternative to port in Karachi, Pakistan.

The Dollar Business Bureau

As a part of the Chabahar pact inked between India and Iran to develop railways and other infrastructure, Indian steel firms will export rails worth $150 million to the Iranian port in July.

“The maiden rail consignment worth $150 million will be sent in July,” revealed an official, after Iranian Ambassador to India, Gholamreza Ansari, held talks with Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Highways Minister, on Thursday.

The official further revealed that Gadkari and Ansari considered to take the deal ahead. The Chabahar Port of Iran will give India access to Afghanistan and Europe via the Pakistani bypass. This historic pact was inked in May, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Gulf country.

Earlier in May, Gadkari stated that India would invest billions to set up industries, including an aluminum smelter and urea plant, in the Chabahar free trade zone and a railway line by PSU IRCON at Chabahar for movement of goods directly to Afghanistan. The rail line will help Afghanistan to reach the Iranian port with ease. This line will be an alternative to sending goods via Karachi port in Pakistan.

The official also revealed that a meeting has been scheduled between Gadkari and his Iranian counterpart to chalk out a work plan for investment requirements and industrial needs for Chabahar.

Apart from the bilateral pact for Chabahar port’s development, in which India will invest $500 million, a trilateral pact for transport and transit corridor was also inked by Iran, Afghanistan and India.

The trilateral pact, according to PM Modi, has the ability to alter the course of history in the entire region. The lesser distance between Kandla and Chabahar port will enable swift movement of goods to Iran and then to Afghanistan and Russia via the new rail and road links.

Gadkari also revealed that the total investment in the Chabahar free trade zone would be around Rs.1 lakh crore.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jun 17, 2016 12:00 IST