Pakistan requests Saudi Arabia not to withdraw deposits, asks to extend oil facility

PTI | Ishinomaki | Updated: 05-05-2022 19:21 IST | Created: 05-05-2022 19:21 IST
Pakistan requests Saudi Arabia not to withdraw deposits, asks to extend oil facility
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Pakistan has requested Saudi Arabia not to withdraw its deposits given to its central bank and extend its oil facility for the cash-strapped country.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail while addressing a press conference in Karachi on Wednesday said Islamabad had requested Riyadh, which is considering rolling over dollar deposits as Islamabad looks to rein in one of Asia’s highest inflation rates and stave off a current-account crisis, to extend an oil loan facility to Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia is discussing options including extending the term of a USD3 billion deposit with the State Bank of Pakistan, according to a joint statement issued after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's recent meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom has also agreed to provide a ''sizable package'' of USD8 billion to aid the debt-ridden economy, which has taken billions of dollars in loans from the likes of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, China, and Saudi Arabia.

The Express Tribune reported that the Finance Minister lamented former Prime Minister Imran Khan's government for making promises to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which were ''against the interests of the nation''.

''Those promises are no less than landmines,'' he told the media, adding that Khan had left the fastest growing inflation in the history of Pakistan.

According to the finance minister, corruption was rampant during the tenure of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which took historic loans during its tenure.

''Bushra Bibi's friend Farah Gogi and Shehzad Akbar left the country immediately after the PTI's government's tenure came to an end,'' he added.

The minister said the cricketer-turned-politician told the IMF that they would not take losses on diesel prices, adding that the former prime minister destroyed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). ''Now, we are stuck with the promises the previous government made with the IMF.'' He said the IMF delegation that had set out five major conditions for the revival of the USD 6 billion bailout package, including the reversal of fuel subsidies and the withdrawal of the tax amnesty scheme, would soon visit Pakistan.

Other conditions set by the organisation include an increase in electricity tariff, the imposition of new taxes and ensuring fiscal savings aimed at bringing down the projected primary budget deficit of Rs1.3 trillion to the earlier agreed limit of Rs25 billion surplus.

According to the IMF, Pakistan owes billions of dollars to countries like China and Saudi Arabia, pushing the South Asian nation deep into a debt trap.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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