India intends to pay Iranian oil imports in Indian currency

New Delhi: After the US has blocked all payments routes to import Iranian oil, India has decided to pay Iran in Indian currency to restart importing Persian Gulf oil, the first post reported.

Iran had in July agreed to take payments for oil it sells to India entirely in rupees after US impositions, but only a few days later Iran reverted back to the old payment mechanism taking only 45% of the payment in Indian rupees.

“They had given some invoices in rupees for 100 percent but I think lately they have stopped that. So that matter had to be further discussed,” petroleum secretary Vivek Rae told reporters today.

India was paying 55% of its payment in Euros to purchase Iranian oil through Ankara-based Halkbank, while remaining 45% was paid in Indian currencies through Kolkata-based Uco Bank.

But the payments in euro through Turkey were blocked from 6 February this year and the Rupees payments for the remains 45% continued.

Now with no other mode of payment left Iran will have to agree to receive the payments of another 55% for its Iranian oils in Indian currency which will also save on the forex outflow.

“That proposal is under consideration to increase import of crude from Iran,” Rae said, with Indian intending to import 11 tonnes of crude oil he added.

On the issue of Iran making any pre-condition for selling oil to India, amidst US impositions, Rae said, “Iran is very desperate to sell crude oil. They are very much on board. There is no pre-condition.”

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