New Delhi : India on Tuesday paid the second installment of USD 550 million to Iran to clear over one-fourth of its dues for oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation.
Indian refiners had paid the first installment of USD 550 million on June 26 and second one was paid today. A third tranche of an equal amount will be paid by July 20, government and industry sources said today.
Since February 2013, when the US blocked payment channels to Iran for its nuclear programme, India has been paying 45 per cent of its Iran oil bill in rupees through a UCO Bank branch in Kolkata. For the remainder, it has been waiting for a way to make the payment. As much as USD 4 billion has been accumulated in past dues. A payment mechanism is now in place under which USD 1.65 billion in three equal instalments of USD 550 million each will be transferred to Iran via the UAE central bank, they said, adding the last installment will be paid before July 20.
Rupee payments equivalent to USD 550 million were deposited by Indian refiners in the Uco Bank account, which will now be transferred to the Reserve Bank of India for onward credit to the central bank of the United Arab Emirates, which will make payments in dirhams to Iran. Iran is seeking interest on the pending dues.