Sujay Mehdudia

Deora hopes to resume talks as soon as the new government is installed

Deora to visit Islamabad in April

His visit in February was cancelled

NEW DELHI: In a major development that could result in a breakthrough, Pakistan has invited India for talks on finalising the $7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline deal.

“I received an invitation from Pakistan’s Energy Minister to visit Islamabad to finalise the transit fee issue so that the IPI pipeline deal could be wrapped up soon,” Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said on Monday.

The Minister was supposed to visit Pakistan in February first week to hold talks on the issue but it was cancelled at the last moment.

Mr. Deora said he hoped to resume negotiations on the issue as soon as the new government in Pakistan was installed.

“I will visit Pakistan sometime next month to hold talks and hope to wrap up the issue of transit fee and related matters as soon as possible and sign a formal agreement to make the project happen.”

The issue of “transportation fee” was sorted out by the two governments and now the focus of the talks would be on the “transit fee” sought to be levied for gas transported from Iran to the India-Pakistan border.

India and Pakistan had, in principle, reached an agreement on the transportation charges that New Delhi would be paying to Islamabad.

New clause

A point of mutual concern for both nations was the incorporation of a new clause sought to be incorporated by Iran on revision of natural gas price every three years.

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