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Pakistan

Saudi-backed IsDB to give Pakistan $4 billion loan

In order to counter the plummeting foreign reserves, Pakistan is eyeing to borrow more than $4 billion from the Sau
Published August 10, 2018

In order to counter the plummeting foreign reserves, Pakistan is eyeing to borrow more than $4 billion from the Saudi-backed Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

Financial Times, quoting anonymous sources, reported that the Jeddah-based bank has agreed to make a formal offer to lend Islamabad the money when the prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan takes over the reins in coming weeks.

The officials were of the view that they expect Asad Umar, pinned to become the next finance minister, to accept the offer. “The paperwork is all in place,” said a senior adviser. “The IsDB is waiting for the elected government to take charge before giving their approval.”

Earlier, Umar had revealed that the country is facing a shortfall of $2 billion a month. “We are facing a significant current account crisis, it’s well-known, well-document,” said Umar, while addressing a US think-tank in Islamabad.

“From the time when the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz came in power five years back, the current account deficit of $2bn a year, to a situation where in the last three months we have been running a current account deficit of $2bn a month,” he added.

The former Engro chief has also stated that his party’s government will decide on whether to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund or approach friendly nations such as China by the end of September.

Pakistan faces a chronic public finance crisis as less than 1pc of roughly 200 million people pay income taxes due to the absence of a robust tax machinery.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018

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