Pakistan to utilize Saudi oil facility from March

oil jpeg 1 - Pakistan to utilize Saudi oil facility from March

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has informed the Senate that the country will start using the $1.2 billion Saudi oil facility on deferred payment from March 2022.

Tarin told the house during the question hour that the government has tried not to pass on to people the full burden of international increase in petroleum products. He said, “We have reduced sales tax and petroleum levy to provide relief to the masses.”

“We have not used the deferred payment facility until now. We will use it from next month.” Tarin said Pakistan had been using its own reserves at the moment.

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The finance minister said foreign exchange reserves of State Bank have increased over the last one year which will help reduce pressure on the rupee. He said Pakistan received $3 billion from Saudi Arabia in December 2021 for a period of one year at 4 percent interest rate.

He said that the country’s exports and remittances are increasing whilst the trade deficit was reduced by $1.5 billion last month.

Responding to a supplementary question, the finance minister said that Pakistan has met 27 out of 28 conditions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). He hoped that the country would come out of the grey list in the next review meeting of FATF.

In a written reply, the minister said that it is a fact that import bill jumped 70 percent to $33 billion in July-November 2021 compared to $19.5 billion in the corresponding months of 2020, adding that increase in import bill is mainly due to substantial rise in the prices of oil, gas, coal and food commodities in global markets.

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