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Pakistan expects multibillion-dollar support from Saudi Arabia

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will likely secure a multibillion-dollar financial support package from long-time ally Saudi Arabia this month, two sources said, as the country’s ninth review of a $7 billion IMF bailout ran into snags.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said earlier he hoped talks with Saudi Arabia would happen soon. “We are expecting that we will, God willing, get financial support from Saudi Arabia, most likely this month,” one of the senior officials claimed, adding it would be around a $4 billion package. “Some of that package will go to our reserves and the rest is oil and some other commodities on deferred payments,” he said.

“Pakistan has brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia. Both countries have helped each other in times of need,” a finance ministry media official told Reuters, without elaborating or giving any further details. Pakistan’s economy is facing a balance of payment crisis. The central bank reserves have fallen to $6.7 billion — barely enough for a month of imports.

The fiscal deficit has already touched 1% of the GDP in the first quarter of the current financial year against 0.7% of the GDP agreed with the IMF.

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