Iran is keen on removing restrictions on banking with India and is hopeful the RBI will address the issue as the two countries try to increase trade, particularly oil imports.
“Trade without banking restrictions will not grow…We can have more trade if this is solved. The Indian government should facilitate it,” Iran’s industry minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadehe told The Indian Express.
The issue is understood to have been discussed in bilateral talks on Wednesday between commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma and Nematzadeh on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization summit. This is the first meeting between the two countries after Iran struck a compromise with the US and five other superpowers on its nuclear programme.
Sources said India’s bilateral talk with Iran focused on its need to maintain energy security and acquisition of oil fields as well as its strategic position that allows connectivity to Central Asia and Afghanistan. Iran has also sought for Indian banks to work on letters of credit to boost trade as well as normalisation of the payment channel between the two countries for crude oil imports.
Removal of banking restrictions, Nematzadeh said, will also help Iran receive the 55% balance of payments for crude oil payments that are currently with India.
Instead, he said, these should be deposited in Euro in a bank in a third country.
The minister is also hopeful that the issue of sanctions on Iranian shipping companies with Iranian insurance will soon be “resolved” and further help trade between the two countries.
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