Saudi Package Unrelated to IMF Talks: Tarin

The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance, Shaukat Tarin, categorically denied a connection between the Saudi package and the International Monetary Fund’s program and expressed his confidence that the latter will revive its loan facility for Pakistan.

He addressed a news conference with the Minister for Energy, Hammad Azhar, in Islamabad on Wednesday and said that the package includes $3 billion dollars in deposits with the State Bank of Pakistan and $1.2 billion worth of oil supplies on deferred payments.

He said that the Saudi financial support package of $4.2 billion is for one year and will be useful when the rupee is under pressure and international oil prices are soaring. He affirmed that this will have a positive impact on the Pakistani market and that there is no question of uncertainty in the economy.

Tarin added that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman revealed during talks in Saudi Arabia that the kingdom holds Pakistan in special regard and that he is willing to support Pakistan.

Minister Azhar remarked that Pakistan’s prices of oil prices are lower than those in the rest of the world, except for the oil-producing countries.  He said that the government has allowed a tax exemption of Rs. 450 billion to lower the prices.

It is expected that the commodity prices will be on a declining trend in the next six months and the benefit will be passed on to the masses, he said, and mentioned that the prices of gas have not been increased since 2019. Minister Azhar also highlighted that the local price of a bag of urea is only Rs 1,700 while it is sold for Rs 7,000 in the international market.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...