ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is yet to reach an agreement with Saudi Arabia on revival of the oil facility on deferred payment months after the claim of minister for information and broadcasting and finance minister.
When contacted, senior officials of Finance Ministry and Power Division stated that discussions with Saudi Arabia are on, but nothing has been finalized yet. However, officials expressed optimism that negotiations would be fruitful and an agreement with Saudi Arabia would be reached soon.
An official of finance ministry said that Pakistan was currently utilizing International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) facility of $400 million for oil imports.
On May 17, 2021, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry disclosed that during his visit to Saudi Arabia in the first week of May 2021 Prime Minister Imran Khan had requested the Saudi authorities to resume supply of oil on deferred payments to which Saudi Arabia had agreed.
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin during his post-budget press briefing, on June 12 2021, stated that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have reached an understanding on revival of Saudi oil facility on deferred payment adding that the only thing that remains to be finalized is the quantum of oil and terms and conditions.
An official said that if Saudi oil facility on deferred payment is not revived at the earliest, the ongoing increase in oil prices in the international market would exert pressure on foreign exchange reserves and increase in the petroleum prices in the country would further stoke inflation.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021