Cash-strapped Pakistan receives $1 bn each from Saudi Arabia, UAE

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 25, 2019 20:23 hrs

Battling a severe financial crunch, Pakistan received the third tranche of $1 billion from Saudi Arabia and a similar amount from the United Arab Emirates.

On its Twitter account, the State Bank of Pakistan confirmed that it has received the amount.

Under the financial package, Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide $3 billion to Pakistan as balance of payment support besides providing oil on deferred payment for three years, Radio Pakistan reported.

The State Bank of Pakistan has also received $1 billion from the UAE which has committed to provide a financial support package of $3 billion to Pakistan.

Pakistan has also approached China for funds to avoid its balance of payment crisis.

Pakistan's current account deficit rose to $7.9 billion in the first half of the current fiscal and is likely to reach $16-18 billion by June 30.

Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday said there was no panic in Pakistan over a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the country would neither go down on its knees and surrender before anybody nor would it be dictated to for the economic support, Dawn reported.

He said this at a post-budget news conference when a questioner said the feeling among the Washington-based multilateral lenders was that Islamabad was taking expensive loans from alternative avenues instead of cheaper support from the IMF, World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Umar said Saudi Arabia had provided the deposit at about 3pc return and almost the same rate was on the UAE loan.

The Finance Minister revealed that an economic support package had been finalised with China and more such successes would be available over the next two weeks — in a reference to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Qatar earlier this week.

Razak Dawood, Adviser to the PM on Commerce, said an agreement had been reached with China for financial support and a team would visit Beijing next week to finalise how much rice, sugar and textile products from Pakistan should be exported to China. (ANI)