India to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement



India to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement 

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for India to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement, an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. 

The Ashgabat Agreement has Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as founding members. Kazakhstan has also joined this arrangement subsequently. Accession to the Agreement would enable India to utilise this existing transport and transit corridor to facilitate trade and commercial interaction with the Eurasian region. Further, this would synchronise with our efforts to implement the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) for enhanced connectivity. 

India’s intention to accede to the Ashgabat Agreement would now be conveyed to the Depository State (Turkmenistan). India would become party to the Agreement upon consent of the founding members. 

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Revised Cost Estimate of the Mangadechhu Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of Rs. 4020.63 crore for the ongoing 720 MW Mangadechhu Hydroelectric Project (HEP) in Bhutan. 

The Project will provide surplus power to India and thus augment power availability in the country. Expeditious RCE approval will enable project works to proceed smoothly without interruption. 

The bilateral agreement to execute the Mangdechhu HEP was signed between India and Bhutan in April, 2010 at the approved cost of Rs. 2896.3 crore (March 2008 price level) with funding by Government of India as 30% grant and 70% loan at 10% annual interest to be paid back in thirty equated semi-annual instalments. The total cost escalation for the project, at this stage, is Rs.1124.359 crore. 

The factors behind cost escalation to the RCE are due to inflation from March 2008 to March 2014, construction of cut-off wall against permeation grouting upstream coffer dam, exchange rate variations and other causes, etc. 

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