Cash-strapped Pakistan will receive over $2 billion loan from its “all-weather” ally China by Monday to provide a boost to its ailing economy, the Pakistan Finance Ministry has announced.
The Pakistan ministry adviser and spokesperson Khaqan Najeeb Khan said “all procedural formalities” for the transfer of the $2.1 billion (15 billion yuan) loan being provided by the Chinese government have been completed, and “the funds will be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan’s account by Monday, March 25”, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Pakistan has received $1 billion each from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as part of the bailout packages by the two Gulf nations to help shore up Islamabad’s dwindling foreign currency reserves.
Saudi Arabia’s assistance was part of the $6 billion bailout package — $3 billion balance-of-payments support and another $3 billion in deferred payments on oil imports — which Riyadh had agreed in October last year.
Islamabad is also in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package.
The loan facility “will further strengthen foreign exchange reserves and ensure balance of payment stability,” the spokesperson said.
Following a meeting in Beijing between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Imran Khan in November 2018, China said it was willing to offer assistance to Pakistan to help it weather its current fiscal woes but the terms of such aid were still being discussed.
Shortly after, Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin had said during an interview that in order to “boost Pakistan”s economy”, Beijing was investing in multiple sectors and launching business ventures instead of providing loans.
Earlier, Pakistan officials said Islamabad would seek around $8 billion from the IMF which would be the biggest package by the Fund for Islamabad.
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