Chabahar Port Current Affairs - 2019
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India Ports Global Limited Company has opened its office and took over operations at the Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar. It happened during the occasion of the first meeting of the follow-up committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran.
Outcomes of the Trilateral Meet:
The note of the Ministry of external affairs on the meet says that Positive and constructive discussions were held between the three sides on full operationalisation of the Trilateral Transit Agreement for international transit and transport through the Chabahar Port. Important outcomes of the meet are:
- There was consensus on the routes for the trade and transit corridors between the three countries.
- It was agreed to finalise the protocol to harmonise transit, roads, customs, and consular matters at the earliest.
- It was agreed to allow cargo movement at Chabahar using Transports Internationaux Routiers Convention provisions.
Internationaux Routiers Convention
It is a multilateral treaty which aims to simplify and harmonise the administrative formalities of international road transport. It was concluded in Geneva on 14 November 1975. India is a party to the treaty.
- Holding an event to promote and popularise the potential of Chabahar on February 26, 2019.
- Constituting a study to determine measures to make the route attractive, decrease logistic costs and pave the way for smooth operationalisation of the Chabahar Agreement.
Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran’s southern coast is easily accessible from India’s western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which is being developed with Chinese investment and is located at distance of around 80 km from Chabahar. Chabahar Port has the potential to be a gateway for golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries besides ramping up trade among the three countries since Pakistan denies transit access to India.
India Ports Global Limited
India Ports Global Private Limited is a private registered company and classified as Union Government Company. It is involved in Sea and coastal water transport.
United States has exempted India from imposition of certain sanctions for development of strategically-located Chabahar port in Iran, along with construction of railway line connecting it with landlocked Afghanistan. The decision comes after US imposed toughest ever sanctions on Iran under Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act, 2012.
The exemptions to India are with respect to development of Chabahar port, construction of associated railway and for shipment of non-sanctionable goods through port for Afghanistan’s use, as well as the country’s continued imports of Iranian petroleum products.
This exception relates to reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan. These activities are vital for ongoing support of Afghanistan’s growth and humanitarian relief. It is also part US President Donald Trump’s South Asia strategy which underscores US’s ongoing support of Afghanistan’s economic growth and development as well as close partnership with India. This strategy states that India has major role in bringing peace and development in Afghanistan.
US has imposed toughest ever sanctions on defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime’s “behaviour”. The sanctions cover Iran’s banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports. However, eight countries — India, China, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — were temporarily allowed to continue buying Iranian oil as they showed significant reduction in oil purchase from Iran.