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Pak rejects Afghan demand for in-kind payments in TAPI gas pipeline project

Islamabad, Thu, 22 Mar 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 22(ANI): Pakistan has rejected Afghanistan's demand for transit fees payment in the form of gas under the 7.6 billion dollars Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

Both countries are expected to reach an agreement on the issue at an energy conference between March 22 and 27 in New Delhi.

Pakistan Petroleum Secretary Ijaz Chaudhry said his country and India are yet to finalise arrangements for the export of oil from India.

He added that a committee was working on modalities and expressed hope that both countries would negotiate a deal during sideline meetings in New Delhi.

Sources in the ministry of petroleum said that Afghan and Pakistani officials had earlier discussed three different proposals on the transit fee: fee in cash or kind; fixed fee in dollar terms on the volume of gas pumped from Turkmenistan; and, linking the transit fee to the per kilometre length of the gas pipeline.

"Afghan authorities insisted on getting paid in gas equalling the value of the transit fee, but we have rejected their demand," the Express Tribune quoted a senior petroleum ministry official, as saying.

"Pakistan, Afghanistan and India will now hold meetings in New Delhi to finalise a uniform transit fee," the official added.

Under the proposed plan, Pakistan wants to pay Afghanistan from the transit fee it collects from India, he said.

Pakistan also wishes to settle a dispute on the review of gas prices during the conference. (ANI)

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