Pakistan Likely to get Commercial Loan from China: Miftah

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail Saturday said that China has agreed to provide a commercial loan to Pakistan and that within a week we will hear the good news.

Addressing a press conference, the minister expressed hope that the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be signed next month, allowing Pakistan to borrow $8 to $9 billion from other multi-national institutions, including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Ismail said that Pakistan is expecting $4 to $5 billion from the IMF, $1.5 billion from the ADB, and Saudi Arabia has agreed to extend its $3 billion deposits to Pakistan.

Giving details about the prime minister’s relief package Ismail said that the premier has announced a ‘Sasta Petrol Sasta Diesel’ scheme which will benefit 14 million deserving households. Under this scheme, Rs. 2,000 will be provided monthly to these households starting in June.

The minister said that the average income in the country is around Rs. 31,000, and each citizen spends 5 percent of their income on transportation. He added that there are 6.7 million households with an income of less than Rs. 40,000 and that wealthy families use 85 percent more petrol.

The minister said female heads of families, whose household income is less than Rs. 40,000, can register themselves for this program by sending their National Identity Card number to 786.

He added that another program is also being launched under which flour will be provided at Rs. 40 per kilogram and sugar at Rs. 70 per kilogram.

The minister said that increasing the prices of petroleum products would ease the pressure on the national economy and improve the value of the rupee, while also acknowledging that it would lead to inflation. He further added that raising fuel prices will save the country Rs. 60 billion per month.



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