India has doubled the allocated funding for the development of Iran’s Chabahar port in its national budget bill for 2020, Times of India reported on Saturday.
As reported, the Indian government has allocated Rs100 crore (nearly $14 million) for the Chabahar port project (in southern Iran) in the 2020 budget, while the allocation in the last Budget was Rs45 crore.
The increase in the allocation this year, at a time when the situation in the region is delicate, suggests India's commitment to the Chabahar development.
Following several rounds of negotiations and discussions with New Delhi, the U.S. administration has exempted the Chabahar project from the new round of sanctions the country has imposed on Iran.
Iran has awarded the development project of this port to India, and the South Asian country committed $500 million to build two new berths in this port.
In the recent meeting of the India-Iran joint economic commission, held between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishanakar and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, the two sides have promised to expand cooperation.
The budget allocation is a message that India is serious about its commitment. As it comes at a time when alternative routes to Afghanistan will be essential, the question to fulfill the promise remains to be seen.