So far permission to invest in rupees has only been given to Indian businessmen investing in Nepal and Bhutan, the person said, adding that an exception had been made in the case of Iran because the West Asian country has had restrictions imposed on it, barring it from dealing in dollars and euros, over its nuclear programme.
This permission was granted last month, the person cited above said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani arrived in India on a three-day visit on Thursday. He landed in Hyderabad airport where he was received by R.K. Singh, Union minister of state for power, and other senior officials.
Connectivity and energy are seen as key items on the agenda for discussions between Rouhani and his Indian hosts —Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind. Modi will be hosting a lunch for Rouhani on Saturday while Kovind will host a banquet for him, a second person familiar with the development said.
India is trying to develop the port of Chabahar on Iran’s east coast as a way to gain access to the markets of Central Asia as well as Afghanistan by bypassing Pakistan. The port is about 72km from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which China is developing.
Previously, India had said its firms could spend as much as $20 billion on not just the port but also petrochemical plants, railway lines and other industries in the area. But progress has only been made on the port so far with India shipping consignments of wheat bound for Afghanistan through Chahbahar. The plan is for India to equip and operate two berths in the port with a capital investment of $85.21 million on a 10-year lease, an Indian official said.