ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has agreed, in principle, to revive the facility of oil supply to Pakistan on deferred payments, revealed information minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday.
The prime minister, on his recent visit to the kingdom, had made a request to Saudi Arabia to resume the supply of oil to Pakistan on deferred payments for an extended period.
The exact details of the deal between the two countries will be known later when there is a formal agreement. When contacted, Chaudhry confirmed the two sides had agreed to it.
“Yes, it’s almost done,” he had said.
Islamabad is vying for all available alternative plans to overcome its external account problems. The resumption of the deferred oil facility by Saudi Arabia can go a long way to get the desired results.
The development comes at a time when Pakistan is negotiating with the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to ensure it does not burden its masses by increasing taxes and hiking power tariffs again to repay loans.
Pakistan’s budget makers for the next fiscal year 2021-22 will get a sigh of relief in the wake of an agreement with Riyadh for resumption of Saudi Oil Facility (SOF) from the three to-five-year period.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia had provided a $6 billion financial package, including $3 billion deposits into the State Bank of Pakistan, and the remaining $3 billion for oil facility on deferred payment on an annual basis.