India to send 1.5lakh tonnes wheat to Kabul via Pak | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India to send 1.5lakh tonnes wheat to Kabul via Pak

delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2012 01:31 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
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Keeping up with its commitments to Kabul, India is all set to send another 1.5 lakh tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan through Karachi port even as it finalises escalated financial approvals to restart the work at the Salma hydroelectric and irrigation dam project - built over Hari river at Chisti Sharif in the country's Herat province.

With the external affairs ministry setting up the new Development Projects Administration (DPA) wing solely to monitor India-aided projects, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka have become New Delhi's focus areas in the sub-continent.

Senior MEA officials said financial bids for the transportation of 1.5 lakh tonnes of wheat to Kandla will be finalised next week.

Part of India's commitment to supply 1.1 million tonnes of the food grain, the latest tranche will be lifted by ships hired by the Afghan government to Karachi port, and from there to Kabul for distribution.

Until now, India has supplied 600,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, of which 500,000 tonnes was in the form of fortified biscuits.

While New Delhi is exploring opportunities to send wheat and other goods through Chahbahar port in Iran, the last wheat shipment went through Karachi port as part of the bilateral agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The DPA, which revived the Salma Dam project in Herat, has approached the finance ministry to approve cost escalation emanating from security problems posed by Taliban insurgents, and certain vested interests in Pakistan.