India to sign pact with Iran to manage Chabahar Port for 10 years today: Report

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Business Today Desk

India will reportedly sign an agreement with Iran to manage the strategic Chabahar Port for the next 10 years. This is the first time India will take over the management of an overseas port. A pact regarding the port was earlier signed in 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Iran.

According to a report in The Economic Times that quoted sources, shipping minister Sarbananda Sonowal will travel to Iran for the signing on Monday. This trip assumes special importance as the union minister is travelling in the middle of a hectic Lok Sabha election 2024 schedule. 

India that has financed the expansion of the port will run the port following the pact. 

CHABAHAR PORT SIGNIFICANCE

India aims to make Chabahar Port a transit hub under the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to reach out to CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. INSTC is India’s vision to economise the movement of cargo between India and Central Asia, and the Chabahar Port would act as a commercial transit centre for the region. 

The new pact, that will replace the original contract, will be valid for 10 years, and reportedly automatically extended. The original pact only covered the Shahid Beheshti terminal of Chabahar Port and was renewed every year. In 2016 a deal was signed between Iran, India and Afghanistan to develop the Shahid Behesthi terminal. 

Chabahar Port, has in the past, figured prominently in the talks between India and Iran, and the expansion of India’s role in the port was also discussed. 

The port, moreover, is also expected to be helpful for Indian traders and investors in Central Asia. 

CHABAHAR PORT CONNECTIVITY

Sonowal had earlier said that the port links the rich Central Asian region with the South Asian markets and plays a significant role in trade and economic collaborations, and connecting the people of the two geographies. The transit and transport potential of the Central Asian region would be improved as well as their logistic network. 

The minister had said that Chabahar Port would lead to the promotion of a joint initiative to create a regional and international transport corridor. The aim is also to develop universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law and equality at the port. 

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