Saudi Arabia Agrees to Revive $4 Billion Financial Support to Pakistan

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. — File photo

An agreement to this effect was reached during the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to the kingdom this week

Clarion India

NEW DELHI — Saudi Arabia has agreed to revive its financial support to Pakistan, including about $3 billion in safe deposits and $1.2bn to $1.5bn worth of oil supplies on deferred payments, Dawn reported.

An agreement to this effect was reached during the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to the kingdom this week, a senior government official told Dawn. However, a formal announcement would be made by the Pakistan PM’s adviser on finance and revenue Shaukat Tarin and Energy Minister Hammad Azhar on Wednesday at a news conference.

The development was later confirmed in a midnight tweet by Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. “Saudi Arabia’s announcement support Pakistan with 3 billion US dollars as deposit in Pakistan central bank and also financing refined petroleum products with 1.2 billion US dollars during the year,” he wrote.

The Saudi government would immediately deposit $3bn in Pakistan’s account for a year and keep it rolling at least until the completion of the IMF programme in October 2023, the official earlier said, as per the report.

The facility is expected to help Pakistan convince the IMF about its financing plan. In addition, the Saudi government would provide crude oil to Islamabad on deferred payments worth up to $1.5bn per annum.

Saudi Arabia had also provided $3bn in cash deposits and promised a $3bn oil facility to Pakistan to help the latter shore up its foreign exchange reserves in 2018. However, as the bilateral relations deteriorated later Islamabad had to return $2bn of the $3bn deposits, the report added.

In June this year, a news conference was informed that Saudi Arabia had announced the availability of $1.5bn oil facility per annum. Three months later then finance minister Tarin had claimed that an agreement for another Saudi oil facility on deferred payments had been reached and would be formally announced within two to three days. The announcement got delayed as Islamabad engaged with the US authorities and the IMF.

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