Pakistan to seek additional $3.2b KSA aid package

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PM says Pak-Saudi ties to touch new heights of bilateral ties
ISLAMABAD
Pakistan has decided to seek an additional package of $3.2 billion from Saudi Arabia which will increase the total financial assistance package to $7.4 billion from the existing $4.2 billion in order to avert further depletion of foreign currency reserves. The request will be made during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.
According to finance ministry officials, Pakistan has decided to seek a $7.4 billion financial assistance package from Saudi Arabia in the shape of cash deposits and oil on deferred payments.
“Pakistan will also make a request to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for rollover of the existing package of $4.2 billion for one year till June 2023,” the source within finance ministry told ARY News. PM Shehbaz led coalition government will also request the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to double the Saudi Oil Facility (SOF) from $1.2 billion to $2.4 billion, they added.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said he looked forward to his meeting with the leadership of Saudi Arabia in a bid to review the multifaceted bilateral cooperation and taking the special relationship to new heights. In a special video message prior to leaving for Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit, he expressed pleasure that after assuming his office, Saudi Arabia was the first country of his maiden visit. “This reflects the high importance Pakistan gives to its special relationship with Saudi Arabia, which is historic in nature and also strategic in importance,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Muhammad Bin Salman for his gracious invitation for the visit. PM Sharif said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were bound by deep-rooted and abiding fraternal ties, which were built on the solid foundation of mutual trust and support. He said the people of Pakistan held the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in high esteem.
“We are profoundly grateful to Saudi Arabia for its consistent support in difficult times,” he said.
He said Pakistan had always stood with Saudi Arabia at different occasions and “would always stand with our Saudi brethren”. He said the visionary Saudi leadership had worked assiduously for the people of Saudi Arabia, adding that Pakistan took pride in the remarkable achievement of Saudi Arabia within the framework of the Crown Prince’s visionary 2030 project.
He commended the leadership role of Saudi Arabia among the Muslim Ummah and for its deep commitment to the Muslim cause. He also conveyed his best wishes for the Pakistani expatriates in the Kingdom for always contributing enormously to the economic development of Pakistan.
He said the Pakistani diaspora was a key partner in further fortifying the Pak-Saudi relationship.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted the National Economic Advisory Council, comprises of 21 members. The Finance Division has notified today that the 21-member Advisory Council will be chaired by the Prime Minister.The council’s 21 members included Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Faisal Iqbal, Miftah Ismail, Saleem Mandviwala, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ayisha Ghous Pasha, Musaddiq Malik, Tariq Pasha, Arif Habib, Atif Bajwa and others. The economic council will review the economy and suggest necessary steps. The economic body will also consider over various subsidies and the issue of the climate change, according to the notification. The terms of reference (ToR) of the advisory council have also been notified. The economic council will also provide recommendations for policy making to improve the national economy.