Cabinet may consider closing of Indo-Iranian shipping venture1 min read . Updated: 01 Apr 2013, 08:14 PM IST
Irano Hind Shipping’s assets would be split between its promoters according to their shareholding
New Delhi: The cabinet is likely to consider on Tuesday winding up of a 38-year old Indo-Iranian shipping company as tightening western sanctions have run the venture’s oil tankers dry and bulk vessels aground.
Irano Hind Shipping Co. , which was formed in 1975 by Iran’s former Shah Reza Pahlavi and the then prime minister Indira Gandhi as a bond of friendship, will be shut as it had failed to get business, people with knowledge of the development said.
India’s largest shipping firm, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) owns a 49% stake in the venture, while Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) holds the remaining 51%.
The Union cabinet is scheduled to consider winding up of the joint venture at its meeting on 2 April, they said.
The shipping JV was among the few international ventures to survive the 1979 Islamic Revolution and decades of economic and diplomatic pressure from the West.
Irano Hind was, however, placed under UN sanctions in 2010 as US and its western allies pressured Tehran to halt its controversial nuclear programme.
This was followed by IRISL coming under sanctions for allegedly aiding Iranian nuclear programme.
People with knowledge of the development said the assets of the venture, which includes four crude oil tankers and four dry bulk carriers, would be split between its promoters according to their shareholding.
The decision to wind up Irano Hind Shipping Co. was taken in July last year, they said, adding charters don’t want to take vessels which are under sanctions.
The board of the company in July last year decided to dissolve the company, a decision which needed approval of the two governments and the United Nations.
India is one of the main targets of US attempts to chip away Iran’s critical commercial lifelines across Asia.
New Delhi has been forced to cut oil imports because of difficulties in payment as well as shipping of the oil.