India Expected to Discuss IPI Pipeline with Pakistan in April

A01104515.jpg TEHRAN (FNA)- India’s Petroleum minister Murli Deora is likely to visit Pakistan in April to pursue India’s viewpoint on the much-debated $7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.According to petroleum ministry sources, “India is quite keen to participate in the IPI pipeline and will argue its case with the new government in Pakistan during the proposed visit. The possible dates were discussed today (Wednesday) and the detail tour program of the petroleum minister will be finalized soon.”

The Centre is in the process of discussing the details of the project with the governments of Iran and Pakistan.

Recently, Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic affairs Mohsen Tallayee said in Mumbai that Iran was ready to sign the agreement as soon as possible.

Besides, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini during his Mumbai visit on February 14 said India and Pakistan needed to agree to contentious issues, as it would pave the way for signing the agreement.

According to Indian ministry sources, the IPI gas pipeline is quite crucial for India as after signing of the agreement, 60 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) of gas is expected to be supplied in phase-I, which will be shared equally between India and Pakistan.

In phase-II, 90 mmscmd of gas will be supplied to India and Pakistan. So far six meetings of the trilateral joint working group (JWG) of the participating countries have been held with the last meeting being held in New Delhi on June 28-29, 2007.

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