ISLAMABAD, July 17 (Reuters) - Pakistan will finalise a
long-delayed deal to export $9 million worth of wheat to Iran
within weeks, a finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
Pakistan is negotiating to send 100,000 tonnes of wheat in
partial payment for electricity supplies from Iran. Pakistan
owes Iran $53 million for the imports but its cash-strapped
state power company has no means to pay.
Talks are underway among Pakistani ministries to settle the
finer details of the deal, said finance ministry spokesman Rana
Assad Amin. He said he expected the talks to be wrapped up
within a few weeks.
The wheat shipment was due to be delivered to Iran in
mid-February but has been repeatedly delayed by wrangling
between the two nations and preparations for Pakistan's May 11
Food imports are not affected by Western sanctions on Iran.
But sanctions on oil exports have dried up the country's cash
flow, hindering its ability to pay for much of the food it
Pakistan is battling a chronic energy shortage that has
eviscerated industry and sparked public outrage. The government
insists that companies sell power for less than the cost of
production, leaving them unable to pay for fuel or imports.
(Reporting by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)