PM Khan thanks Saudi Arabia, China and UAE for financial assistance

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman riding in a carriage during a welcome ceremony in Islamabad on February 18, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 13 June 2019
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PM Khan thanks Saudi Arabia, China and UAE for financial assistance

  • In televised post-budget speech, PM says three friendly countries helped Pakistan in times of economic difficulty
  • KSA has given Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support, $3 billion deferred oil payments facility

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday hailed financial assistance that Pakistan has received from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China to prop up its stumbling economy and plug its depleted reserves.

In a speech televised late on Tuesday night following the presentation of the budget proposal for the fiscal year to June 2020, Khan said the three friendly countries had stood by Pakistan in times of economic difficulty.

Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar also underlined the importance of the financial aid received from Saudi Arabia, UAE and China while presenting the budget proposal in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“We borrowed a total of $9.2 billion from China, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates,” Azhar said.

Last year, Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support along with a $3 billion facility for deferred payments for oil imports. The prime minister’s adviser on finance, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, confirmed last month that Saudi Arabia would activate the deferred oil payment facility from July 1, 2019 under which Islamabad will receive $3.2 billion per year for three years.  

Islamabad also received $3 billion in economic assistance from the UAE in December 2018 while all-weather friend China lent $2.2 billion in March this year. Beijing is also investing close to $60 billion in Pakistan under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of infrastructure and energy projects.


Pakistani PM names army chief to new national development council

Updated 18 June 2019
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Pakistani PM names army chief to new national development council

  • New body will formulate policies, approve long-term planning, provide guidelines for regional cooperation
  • The formal inclusion of the army chief in a development policy-making body is an unprecedented move

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the establishment of a new high-powered government body, the National Development Council (NDC), of which the country’s all-powerful army chief will be a member, a federal government notification issued on Tuesday said.
The memo said Khan would chair the eleven-member council comprising federal ministers, provincial chief ministers and federal secretaries. Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s formal inclusion in the body is unprecedented even by Pakistani standards, a country in which the military has ruled for almost half its history.
The council includes the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Federal Minister for Finance/Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform, Federal Minister for Commerce/Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries & Production and Investment, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary Foreign Affairs Division, Secretary, Finance Division, Secretary, Planning, Development & Reforms Division and the four provincial chief ministers.
The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister, and the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan will be also be members of the body on invitation. The additional secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office will be the secretary of the council.
Defining the terms of reference (ToRs) of the council, the notification said it would set “policies and strategies for development, formulate and trailer policies to achieve accelerate economic growth, approve long term planning for national and regional connectivity and provide guidelines for regional cooperation.”