Islamabad: Pakistan claimed that Islamabad has been able to borrow up to USD 2.8 billion against Riyadh’s quota of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) after reports of Saudi Arabia planning to renew a USD 3 billion deposit at the State Bank of Pakistan.
Citing a foreign media report, the country’s newspaper The News International reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Saudi Arabia have also discussed the possibility of Pakistan being able to borrow up to USD 2.8 billion from the Fund.
“Once finalised, Pakistan’s extent of borrowing from the IMF during the present financial year (July to June) will increase by USD 2.8 billion. This will be a very important gesture,” The News International reported quoting a senior Pakistani official.
The assistance would help Pakistan secure a USD 1.2 billion payment from the IMF, whose board is set to meet this month to approve the disbursement.
Last month, the IMF agreed to increase its loan package by USD 1 billion to USD 7 billion, but has conditioned the disbursement on assurances that Pakistan receives additional financial support from elsewhere.
Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had warned that economic hardships would continue till September. The country is on rising inflation, high energy prices and the depreciating Pakistani currency.
“We will face difficulties till September. You will have to pay your share of tax no matter what […] and I apologise for the difficulties everyone is facing, but my primary objective is to save the country from default,” Miftah said last week.
In a press conference after meeting the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the finance minister said that the coalition government had taken tough decisions — cutting subsidies and broadening the tax base — after coming into power — and apologised to the businessmen for it, reported Geo News.
The finance minister further said the government had to take tough decisions of withdrawing subsidies on petroleum products and power.