Thursday, May 10, 2012

Iraq topples Iran, becomes 2nd largest crude oil supplier to India

The pressure of US sanctions on Iran is evident with Indian refiners shifting attention to other crude oil producing nations. Supplies from Iraq and Kuwait have seen a significant increase, even as Saudi Arabia maintained its position as the largest supplier. The sanctions also made payments for supplies from Iran difficult. Indian refiners paid for their Iranian oil imports through Turkey’s Halkbank. But, there is a fear that this system may collapse due to the new US sanctions. A method was also worked out wherein National Iranian Oil Company would accept a share of the payments in rupee in an account opened in UCO Bank. However the 40 per cent withholding tax component made the mechanism a non-starter. Domestic refiners had refused to shoulder the additional tax burden, which made sourcing from Iran very expensive. In the Budget for 2012-13, the Government stepped in to exempt tax on payment received by a foreign company in Indian currency on account of sale of crude oil to any person in India.

India to get $6.25 billion from ADB

The Asian Development Bank will provide assistance of $6.25 billion to India over three years for various projects, including those in energy and education sectors. The lending support will go to key areas such as transport, energy, urban development, agriculture natural resource management, finance and education.

Pranab Mukherjee takes over as Chair of ADB Governor’s Board

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, took over as Chair of Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank. He will hold the position till the conclusion of the next (46th) meeting of the Board scheduled to be held in New Delhi in May next year.

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