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India making regular payment for Iran crude: Pranab

New Delhi: Asserting that Iran never threatened to stop crude oil supply to India, the Government today said the problem of settling the import bill with the Persian Gulf nation has been sorted out.

“We had some problem with regard to making payment for the oil bill to Iran, but problem has been sorted out. Regular payment is taking place now,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha.

He, however added that there were some outstandings, “which in course of time we would like to clear by making the payement”. India imports about 20 per cent of its crude oil requirements from Iran.

On December 23, 2010 the RBI said that all trade-related payments to Iran had to be made outside the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), a regional clearing house through which most India-Iran trade was being conducted.

The order threw out a mechanism to pay for Iranian oil. Mukherjee, however, said Iran never threatened to stop oil supplies to India. “I would like to dispel this impression that Iran has threatened to stop supplying oil to India. Please do not create scare in the country.

“It may be report of some newspaper, but officially Iran has never told us that it is going to stop the supply,” the minister said in reply to a supplementary during the Question Hour. India imports 12 million barrels of crude oil every month from Iran.

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