KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday night announced that it has received $1 billion from China, without sharing any other details about the nature of this inflow.

Pakistan reportedly paid $1bn to China last Monday against a reportedly due amount of $1.3bn. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was hopeful for the return of $1bn.

The dwindling foreign exchange reserves and IMF’s reservations about budgetary measures have created problems for the finance minister who recently claimed that the Fund wants to see Pakistan default like Sri Lanka.

Despite these serious reservations, Pakistan is still hopeful to receive the remaining $2.2bn out of the $7bn bailout programme, which expires on June 30.

Separately, Mr Dar informed a National Assembly Committee that $300m loan from China Development Bank, maturing on June 26 will be refinanced before June 30.

Pakistan is hopeful to roll over $4bn of bilateral Chinese loans while it is also willing to extend the tenure of the maturity of the bilateral loans.

Islamabad owes $3bn to Saudi Arabia and $2bn to UAE. Experts believe the total $9bn bilateral loans could be rolled over through better negotiations with these countries.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2023

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