KOLKATA, India Dec 12 India is waiting for Iran
to tell it how to make payments for oil allowed under last
month's deal with global powers on sanctions and will pay in
instalments, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor H.R. Khan
said on Thursday.
Iran can now unlock $4.2 billion of payments for its oil
stuck with major clients including India, China, Japan and South
Korea after it reached an interim deal with six world powers in
November over its nuclear programme.
India, Iran's second-biggest customer after China, has been
paying for 45 percent of its supplies in rupees and the rest
used to be paid in euros through Turkey's Halkbank
until sanctions tightened on that route too earlier this year.
Iranian officials have been in India this week looking at
ways to unlock the payments.
"Whether the Halkbank route has been opened or not we are
not sure," Khan told reporters on the sidelines of the central
bank's board meeting here. "Going forward we will evaluate the
proposal and see how best it can be done."
Halkbank has said it could resume payments once the Geneva
deal becomes "official."
Access to the funds would bring some relief to Iran's
strangled economy and was allowed in return for Tehran's
commitment to halting its most sensitive nuclear work.
But Khan said: "not much is going to be paid," and added,
"it is not going to happen immediately, it will happen in a
Iran's oil exports have slid to 1 million barrels per day
(bpd) from around 2.5 million bpd before sanctions were imposed,
partly through constraints on insurance for sales and partly as
clients cut volumes to avoid being penalised by Washington.
India wants to import about 220,000 bpd from Iran this year
but could fall short of that after insurance problems halted
shipments. It imported at an annual rate of 120,000-130,000 bpd
from Iran till November in the year that started April 1, an oil
ministry source said last week.