ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Saturday said Shell Petroleum is not winding up its operations in Pakistan, instead it is selling its shares to another foreign direct investor and the government had been aware of it.
In a news statement through a state-owned news channel, the finance minister said Shell International would transfer its share in Shell Pakistan to another foreign investors and investment would remain in Pakistan.
He said that as per his information foreign investor is also negotiating to retain the name of Shell as well.
Dar maintained that Shell International is not closing its business in Pakistan and not laying-off employees. Shell network would continue to operate and foreign exchange would not be remitted out of the country
He said news were in media that Shell is closing its business in Pakistan and he wanted to clarify the exact position. He said that Shell International has separated itself from home energy and even in European countries selling its interest or reorganizing them. Dar said that Shell is bound to take approval from the government of Pakistan to sell shares.
Foreign exchange inflow and payments
Meanwhile, the finance minister said that $1 billion of China Development Bank and $300 million of Bank of China were becoming due in the last week of June and as per arrangement with Chinese Banks this facility is extended back to Pakistan after payment and completion of the process by the banks management.
He said Pakistan has offered Chinese banks that it wants to make payment well before the due date and an understanding was reached that Chinese would not charge fee or fine for early payments as is the practice.
Dar added that this was also agreed with the Chinese banks that they would fast track the return of the loan to Pakistan.
The finance minister said Pakistan has received back $1 billion from China Development Bank and $300 million from Bank of China would also be received in the next four to five days.
He said renewal of $1 billion state-to-state dealing is also due and everything is also in order for it to happen.
Dar added that an international ratings agency stated in April that how Pakistan would make payment of $3.7 billion becoming due in May-June and there is likely danger of default.
He said he has also given reaction that arrangement of all the payments becoming due in May and June is in place and there is nothing to be worried about.
He said all the payment becoming due in May and June would be made in time and there would be no change in foreign exchange reserves.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023