Indian oil refiners owe USD 5.9 billion in payment for Iranian oil and the government has allowed use of some of the money for export of essential goods.
India has issued guidelines allowing third country exports of humanitarian goods (food, medicines and medical equipment) to Iran as a part of oil payments due to that country, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
She said that the Ministry of Finance has decided that payments to the extent of USD 100 million per month for such third country exports to Iran would be allowed from the 45 per cent INR (domestic currency) vostro account held with the UCO Bank. Payment over and above USD 100 million per month would be met from 55 per cent Euro component.
“The balance in the INR Vostro Account of Iranian Commercial Banks with UCO Bank as on March 16, 2015 is INR 17,895.50 crore. As on February 28, 2015, USD 5943 million (USD 5.9 billion) is in EUR component,” she said.
The imports from Iran made up for 5.81 per cent of the nation’s oil import needs in 2013-14, down from 7.11 per cent in the previous year.
Iran is one of the biggest suppliers of oil to India. PTI RR ANZ MR 03202033