Srinagar: An Iranian delegation will visit India next month in a bid to finalise an agreement on the over 7-billion dollar pipeline to bring gas from the fuel-rich nation to India and Pakistan.
“Only two weeks back, the secretary (ministry of petroleum) was in Tehran and after one month, they (Iranian officials) would be coming to meet us,” Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told reporters on 18 June.
Discussions were on with Iran and Pakistan on prices and how the pipeline would be brought to India, he said, adding major issues have been sorted out while pending issues like transportation fees and alignment would be worked out soon.
The issue was also discussed with Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz during his visit to India recently, he said.
“The prime minister himself has said this will be a pipeline for peace and progress. The process is continuing and very soon we will be launching the pipeline,” he said.
He, however, said no time frame can be set for such a massive project involving 7-8 billion dollars investment.
The 2,300-km long pipeline will initially carry around 60 million cubic meters of gas per day, split equally between India and Pakistan.
Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan had said on June 11 the three sides were likely to sign an agreement by July-end.
India-Pakistan official level talks by month-end or early July will be followed by a ministerial dialogue to seal issues on transportation tariff and transit fee payable to Islamabad for allowing passage of the pipeline to India.
After resolving the two issues, the three countries will sign a Framework Agreement for the project, he had said.