Saudi Arabia releases second bailout package for Pakistan
Islamabad: Cash-strapped Pakistan on Friday received USD 1 billion from its close ally Saudi Arabia as part of a second bailout package to boost the country’s dwindling dollar reserves, according to media reports.
The latest package has shored up the central bank’s foreign reserves, hitting the USD 9.4 billion mark, said State Bank of Pakistan Spokesman Abid Qamar.
He said another Saudi financial package was expected in January next year, Dawn newspaper reported.
In October, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Pakistan USD 3 billion in foreign currency support for a year to address its balance-of-payments crisis.
During Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia on October 23, it was announced that the oil-rich country will provide a USD 6 billion package to Pakistan to support its ailing economy.
The package included USD 3 billion balance of payments support and USD 3 billion in deferred payments on oil import.
Pakistan received the first tranche of USD 1 billion from Saudi Arabia on November 9.
According to figures shared by Prime Minister Khan in October, the country’s total foreign debt has surged to Rs 30,000 billion within the last decade, while circular debt has reached Rs 1,200 billion, the report said.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has also approached China, the UAE and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to seek packages to support the economy.
The second Saudi instalment will bolster Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, which fell to USD 7.3 billion in the week ended December 7 – the lowest in more than four and a half years. (PTI)