Saudi Arabia to provide USD 3 billion to cash-strapped Pakistan

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Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide USD 3 billion to cash-strapped Pakistan in safe deposits and USD 1.2 billion and USD 1.5 billion worth of oil supplies on deferred payments, media reports said on Wednesday.

A formal announcement about the agreement, reached during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the kingdom this week, would be made by Prime Minister’s adviser on finance and revenue Shaukat Tarin and Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, Dawn newspaper reported.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter to announce the aid provided by the Saudi Arabia government.

“Saudi Arabia announcement support Pakistan with 3 billion US dollars as deposit in Pakistan central bank and also financing refined petroleum product with 1.2 billion US dollars during the year,” he said in a tweet.

The Saudi government would immediately deposit USD 3 billion in Pakistan’s account for a year and keep it rolling at least until the completion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in October 2023, the report quoted an official as saying.

Pakistan and the IMF had signed the USD 6 billion deal in July 2019 but the programme was derailed in January 2020 and restored briefly in March this year before again going off the track in June.

From June to August there were no serious discussions between the two sides.

In addition, the Saudi government would provide crude oil to Islamabad on deferred payments worth up to USD 1.5 billion per annum, the report said.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia had also provided USD 3 billion in cash deposits and promised a USD 3 billion oil facility to Pakistan to help it shore up its foreign exchange reserves in 2018.

However, as the bilateral relations deteriorated later on, Islamabad had to return USD 2 billion of the USD 3 billion deposits.

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