Saudi oil deal to be finalised by 28th

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are to finalise agreement on oil facility by March 28, 2022, according to which the former will supply oil of $1.2 billion yearly for three years on deferred payment.

This understanding was reached between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia in October last year.

The issue of Saudi oil facility also came under discussion at a meeting of Economic Executive Council (EEC) presided over by Finance Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin. Minister for Energy was not present in the meeting. However, Minister for Economic Affairs informed EEC that the agreement of oil facility will be finalised by March 28, 2022.

The meeting decided that Petroleum Division will finalise the process of oil facility agreement at the earliest so that in coming months a smooth oil supply may be ensured.

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Finance Minister appreciated the PM’s proposal of special initiative on Pakistan first ever sovereign Wealth Fund. He advised Tahir Mahmood, focal person on Prime Minister’s ten-point agenda, to finalise the modalities and action plan for sovereign Wealth Fund.

President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) stated that a thorough discussion with SBP, local as well as international banks, have been carried out on gold-based negotiable instruments and it was concluded that handover of gold to SBP is a costly and time consuming process. SBP stated that the testing facility for assessing gold quality is not available in the country. It was also noted that after consultations of PMEX, SBP has prepared a refined proposal and communicated it to Tahir Mahmood. It was decided that NBP and Tahir Mahmood will share their commitments to SBP on the refined proposal. SBP will explore the options to make scheme operational.

Minister for Industries & Production, Khusro Bakhtiar revealed the short-term and long-term plan for DAP production and availability. He further stated that 1.1 million Kissan Cards have already been issued to farmers out of 1.6 million total farmers.

It was decided that Ministry of National Food Security and Research with the consultation of provincial governments would prepare the summary for DAP subsidy and submit it for the consideration in the next meeting of the ECC of the Cabinet.

FBR chairman informed EEC about the proposed new model for establishing Duty Free Shops (DFS) to bring more foreign exchange in the country; the proposed model was appreciated by EEC.

It was decided that FBR will identify shortcomings in the new DFS model, making it simple, convenient and ensure that it is not misused.

Chairman NAPHDA, representatives of DHA and RUDA informed EEC about the availability of plots, apartments and other commercial options. It was decided that NAPHDA will introduce a special section for overseas Pakistanis in the NAPHDA. This section will facilitate the overseas Pakistanis in investing in real estate in foreign exchange.

On foreign currency investment insurance pool, SBP informed EEC that detailed proposal has already been shared with the Ministry of Finance for comments. It was decided that Finance Division will share the comments and input for the improvement of the proposal at the earliest.

Islamabad, Riyadh agree to operationalise $1.2bn oil facility

Regarding National Bank counters at airports for debit cards, etc., Tahir Mahmood apprised EEC that discussion with NBP on establishing counters at the airport was in progress. He further said that NBP has reservations on the higher prices of machines and other associated costs. It was decided that NBP will explore the possible options to establish the counters at airports for debit cards. EEC directed Finance Division to resolve the matter and make final decision on US dollar linked certificates immediately.

Tahir Mahmood urged EEC to consider the proposal to construct shops on motorways and highways for the poor segment of society to ensure their wellbeing.

It was decided to bring this proposal under the umbrella of Kamyab Pakistan Program and Tahir Mahmood was requested to provide details of the proposal to AFS (IF), Finance Division for necessary facilitation.

On conflict resolution mechanism, the EEC was informed that Tahir Mahmood was briefed on PM’s special initiative on conflict resolution mechanism. Finance Minister appreciated the proposal and advised Tahir Mahmood to approach PM office for the constitution of a committee for conflict resolution mechanism. The committee may include Finance Minister, Minister for Energy, and Advisor to the PM on Commerce and Investment and Minister for EAD, etc.

During discussion on dollar discount duty on imports, Tahir Mahmood was briefed on the PM’s special initiative for dollar discount duty on import of vehicles if paid in dollar terms. Finance Minister highlighted that this facility already existed and advised Tahir Mahmood to consult with Advisor to PM on Commerce & Investment, Abdul Razak for upgrading the proposal, if needed.

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