Press Trust of india

Pakistan to get Saudi oil for 3 years on deferred payments from July

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Islamabad, May 23 :  Cash-strapped Pakistan will start getting the much-anticipated Saudi Arabian oil on deferred payments from July, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Advisor on Finance has said.

Last year, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide a bailout package of USD 6 billion to help resuscitate Pakistan’s worsening economy.

In October last year, the Kingdom had also agreed to establish a credit line worth USD 3 billion for the sale of petroleum products on credit for three years to Islamabad and to give USD 3 billion in Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves for a year.

In a tweet, late Wednesday, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Saudi Arabia will supply oil worth USD 3.2 billion per year on deferred payments for three years.

“The Kingdom will supply USD 275 million oil to Pakistan on monthly basis from July,” Shaikh was quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan.

He said that the facility will “strengthen Pakistan’s balance of payments position”, and thanked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for “his continuous support for the people of Pakistan”.

Reacting to Riyadh’s move, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar welcome the news, saying the facility the deferred payment facility “will reduce the pressure (created by the) outflow of foreign exchange”.

Facing financial woes, Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy.

Pakistan has so far received a total of USD 9.1 billion in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the current fiscal year.

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