2 May 2007 - 16:34
  • News Code: 103743

The World Bank has described the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline as a win-win deal and expressed readiness to fund the $7b dollar project.

Evincing interest in financing the project, World Bank"s Vice-President Praful Patel said in Islamabad that the Bank has not been approached by Pakistan to this effect formally or informally but the bank was ready to fund it if approached, PTI reported.

 

"IPI gas pipeline project is a win-win project for Pakistan and India besides being good and quite feasible in catering the energy needs of Pakistan and India," he said.

 

The bank would give a serious consideration to finance it if approached, he said.

 

Top United States officials have time and again expressed strong objections to the project.

 

Patel said if the IPI project materialized Pakistan would also get the transit fee annually from India, which would play a pivotal role in strengthening its economy.

 

He said the bank also supports the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline project. "If Pakistan would come to ask for funding for any of the pipelines, the World Bank would seriously consider extending the funding".

 

An Iranian oil official suggested Monday that Iran would welcome any involvement by the Russian company Gazprom in the project, adding it would speed progress.

 

Gholam-Hossein Nozari, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Co., did not say whether Iran had been in contact with Gazprom on the issue and failed to provide details on what kind of participation he had in mind.

 

"Gazprom is a capable and big company and if it enters the peace pipeline, it will help with the progress and speed up the operation," he was quoted as saying by Iranian news agency ISNA, referring to the planned link from Iran to India.

 

PIN/ISNA

News Code 103743

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