Islamabad, Nov 07: Pakistan may return $2 billion Saudi Arabian loan and is looking for various options to secure more lending aimed at retaining gross official foreign exchange reserves at their current level of over $12 billion, Ministry of Finance sources told The Express Tribune.
The second tranche of $1 billion of Saudi loan is maturing next month and there is likelihood that the government will return the money – two years after the borrowings, the sources added.
The Saudi Arabian financial assistance package, originally estimated at $6.2 billion, had helped the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to avoid looming default on international debt obligations.
“It is a bilateral confidential matter,” said the Ministry of Finance in a terse response on Friday. But a top government official said on condition of anonymity that there is a possibility that Pakistan will be returning the money next month.
The Express Tribune sent questions to the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday. The finance ministry had been requested to comment on whether Pakistan will payback $1 billion to Saudi Arabia next month and whether it will also return a $2 billion loan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Although there was hope that the political level contacts may help to convince the Gulf countries to extend these loans for another year, the chances were not high, said the Finance Ministry sources.