India starts commercial activity at Chabahar Port

January 8, 2019

TEHRAN- India has started its commercial activities in Iran’s southeastern port of Chabahar, the Indian government said on Monday, Economic Times reported.

"The Government of India took over the operations of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar, in Iran during the Chabahar Trilateral Agreement meeting held there on December 24, 2018," the Indian Shipping Ministry said in a statement.

In October 2018, Iran, India and Afghanistan inked an agreement on transit of goods via Chabahar.  

The agreement was signed in Tehran by Rastad, T.S. Tirumurti, the secretary of economic relations in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and Imammohammad Warymoch, Afghanistan’s deputy minister of transport, during the first meeting of coordination council of agreement on the establishment of an international transport and transit corridor among Iran, India and Afghanistan (Chabahar Agreement).

These three countries signed a trilateral transit agreement in Tehran in May 2016, which allows them open new routes to connect among themselves via converting Chabahar Port into a transit hub bypassing Pakistan.

Then during the visit of the Iranian president to India in February 2018, the lease contract for Shahid Beheshti Port-Phase 1 was signed between Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) and India’s Ports Global Limited (IPGL).

India then inaugurated a headquarters called India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ) at the port to help it commit to its part in the accord.

India’s Shipping Ministry said in its Monday statement that commercial operations had begun at the IPGCFZ with the arrival of a Cyprus registered bulk carrier bearing 72,458 million tons of corn at the port on December 30, The Times of India reported.

The vessel MV Macheras discharged the cargo, which had been imported from Brazil, the statement added.

“This is the first time India will be operating a port outside its territories," the Ministry pointed out.

“India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease,” the paper added.

MA/MA

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