India has assured Iran that it is working on an arrangement to expedite payments for imported oil and oil products.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has told his Iranian counterpart minister of economic affairs and finance Seyyed Shamseddin Hooseini that India would like to make the payment due to Iran as expeditiously as possible especially on account of oil and oil products, an official statement said on Friday.
Oil payments to Iran have been delayed due to the tedious process involved in certification of the oil bought,after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stopped the use of a long-standing clearing mechanism for paying the Islamic Republic.
Mukherjee in a meeting on Thursday with Hooseini said India is working out an arrangement through German central bank Deutsche Bundesbank to expedite payment to Iran.
Both the countries should work out a mechanism through which we could make arrangements for timely payment by removing the necessary bottlenecks, Mukherjee said.
He also said that India is interested to expedite the finalisation of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Iran on priority as this would help improve and strengthen financial and economic relationships between the two countries.
Besides,India is also interested to finalise and sign Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) with Iran in the near future which will further boost investment by the prospective investors from both the sides,” he added.
India also wants to diversify the commodity basket for trade beyond oil and petroleum products. He asked his Iranian counterpart to impress upon his External Affairs counterpart to expedite the opening of Indian Cultural Centre in Iran which would further strengthen the people to people relationship and cultural ties between the two countries.
The Iranian minister also called for more investment from Indian companies and prospective investors in Iran to further boost the bilateral trade and economic relationships.