$1bn received from Saudi Arabia: State Bank of Pakistan

Updated November 20, 2018

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Prime Minister Imran Khan shakes hands with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz. —APP/File photo
Prime Minister Imran Khan shakes hands with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz. —APP/File photo

KARACHI: Pakistan received $1 billion from Saudi Arabia on Monday as part of the $3bn package promised by the kingdom during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

State Bank of Pakistan’s Chief Spokesman confirmed the arrival of $1bn, taking the SBP reserves to $8.482bn, from $7.482bn reported on November 9.

The new government has been struggling to plug the big hole on the external front as the current account deficit reached record $18bn in FY18.

Estimates suggest the country needs $12bn additional inflow to meet the deficit in FY19.

Khan visited Saudi Arabia last month and got promises of $3bn oil on deferred payments and $3bn cash to be placed in the SBP account.

These dollars would not be used by Pakistan; they will simply support the foreign exchange reserves.

Similarly, $3bn oil on deferred payment for next three years would help the country reduce its import bill, the main cause for rising current account deficit.

The country is also engaged with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to get a bailout package to meet the increasing current account deficit. In the first four months of FY19, the deficit declined by 4.5 per cent to $4.84bn.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018