India seeks to increase Iran oil imports

File photo shows an Iranian supertanker sailing in international waters.

India seeks to increase oil imports from Iran to curtail dollar payouts, despite US-led sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic’s energy and financial sectors.

India™s Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram on Saturday said New Dehli is studying to see how much oil imports it can increase from Iran within UN regulations.

On Friday, India™s Oil Secretary Vivek Rae, Commerce Secretary S R Rao and the economic affairs secretary, attended a meeting called by the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji to discuss raising crude oil imports from Iran.

India pays for 45 percent of its Iranian oil purchases in Indian rupees. Sources say payments in rupee helps India to save on the foreign exchange outflow. Oil imports have been the biggest factor contributing to a record current account deficit (CAD).

According to Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, India could save as much as $8.47 billion by importing oil from Iran.

India is among Asia™s major importers of energy and relies on the Islamic Republic of Iran to meet a portion of its energy demands.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran™s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

India won a 180-day waiver from the US sanctions targeting oil trade with Iran.

India™s crude oil imports from Iran increased by 21.1 percent in June 2013 compared to a year earlier.

PG/HGH

Copyright: Press TV