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Indo-Pak talks to finalise IPI tariff

April 11, 2008 14:15 IST
India and Pakistan will soon finalise the bilateral tariff and transit fee issues for the $7 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

Technical teams of both countries will meet in Islamabad during April 16-18 to firm up recommendations to be discussed by the petroleum ministers of Pakistan and India at their meeting in Islamabad on April 23.

Both the sides had earlier resolved differences over the transportation fee and will now focus on the issues of tariff and transit fee for Iranian gas to be transported to India via Pakistan, official sources were quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

A petroleum ministry official said India and Pakistan will also discuss issues related to the $6 billion dollar, 2,000-km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

"Tapi is a parallel project that India and Pakistan are also discussing simultaneously," he said. The official said the technical and ministerial-level talks were "very important" for the IPI pipeline project. Following the talks with India, Pakistan will line up further meetings with Iran in May.

"The Iranian side will be briefed next month about the outcome of talks between Pakistan and India," he said, expressing the hope that all lingering issues related to the project will be sorted out this month.

Sources said senior Pakistani officials had been informed by Iran that it had sorted out 40 to 50 per cent of the "logistic issues" for undertaking work on the IPI pipeline. Pakistan has also been told that Iran had asked India to join the project without caring for the opposition of the US to the pipeline.

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