Indian team in Pakistan to discuss pipeline project

April 15th, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) A team of senior Indian officials is in Pakistan for technical discussions on the trans-national Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project ahead of Petroleum Minister Murli Deora’s visit to Islamabad next week. The discussions are expected to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan on the issue of transit fee and transportation charges on the tri-nation pipeline, which will supply gas from Iran to the energy-hungry markets of South Asia.

The eight-member team includes D.N. Narasimha Raju, joint secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, A.K. Purwaha, director for business development of the Gas Authority of India Limited, and B.M. Bansal, director for planning and business development, of the Indian Oil Corporation.

They will hold talks with their Pakistani counterparts April 16-18.

The bilateral talks on the IPI pipeline are expected to be followed by a trilateral meeting between the three countries. India had not taken part in the last three tri-lateral meetings, claiming that it first needed to resolve bilateral differences with Pakistan.

At the inauguration Monday of the Asia Gas Partnership Summit, Murli Deora expressed optimism that outstanding issues on the pipeline project will be resolved. He will hold a formal meeting with the newly-appointed Pakistan Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Khwaja Asif April 25.

Deora will also attend a meeting of the steering committee of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline project April 23-24 in Islamabad.

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