NATIONAL

Oil-for-Food programme: 23 contracts to India

NEW DELHI April 9. The United Nations has placed 23 Indian contracts on a priority list under the Oil-for-Food (OFP) programme. This is expected to help the exporters who had made shipments to Iraq under the programme.

According to the Commerce Ministry, the list covered goods such as instant full cream powder, wheat, gas turbines, educational material and equipment, vitamins, soyabean meal, water pump, veterinary pharmaceuticals, medicines, drugs and pharmaceuticals.

In a press note here today, the Ministry said the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) of the U.N had been divided into three categories. These are contracts already identified as possible priorities by the U.N., contracts with goods already in transit and other goods to be considered as possible priorities.

The OIP had also given a general advice to all suppliers not to ship goods unless they reached arrangement with and received specific instructions from the relevant U.N. agency or the OIP.

As for the Indian suppliers, they had been asked to go through the OIP website or contact India's Permanent Mission at the U.N.

Regarding suppliers with contracts in the second category — goods already in transit — only those identified as priorities would be contacted at this time, though arrangements for other transit contracts were currently being discussed in the U.N. In addition, the Permanent Mission has taken up a list of 22 Indian companies, whose goods had been shipped but had not yet been added to the priority list.

The OIP has also defined a list of priority items to be considered under the third category which covers sectors such as food, health, water, sanitation, education, agriculture and electricity supplies.