March 7, 2022 [THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE] – The energy woes of Pakistan are likely to ease as first oil tanker under the Saudi Arabian oil credit facility is expected to reach Pakistan in the third week of March.
In a meeting with a Saudi Arabian delegation on Wednesday, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan acknowledged the timely start of oil facility worth $1.2 billion for the import of petroleum products on deferred payment.
Under the facility, Pak Arab Refinery (Parco) and National Refinery Limited (NRL) will import petroleum products worth up to $100 million per month from Saudi Arabia.
The minister appreciated the technical and financial support from the Saudi Fund for Development for socio-economic development in Pakistan.
He called for the removal of all bottlenecks and the implementation of development projects on a fast-track basis.
The minister emphasised that the Economic Affairs Division would implement the triad approach, ie physical progress verification by satellite, financial tracking and use of Gantt charts for efficient monitoring and smooth implementation of projects.
Speaking on the occasion, Saudi Arabian Ambassador Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malkiy assured Pakistan of continuous support at all levels for further strengthening bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries.
He stated that Saudi Arabia was committed to playing a stronger role in the socio-economic development of Pakistan.
Both sides discussed bilateral economic cooperation including the Saudi oil facility, ongoing development projects and new initiatives.
Earlier, a team of Saudi Fund for Development and Economic Affairs Division Additional Secretary Zubair Qureshi reviewed the progress on 13 ongoing projects in Pakistan.
The Saudi fund is providing financial assistance for various development projects in the areas of renewable energy, healthcare, education, infrastructure and housing.
They discussed the progress on construction of tunnels on Chella Bandi Road, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and building infrastructure in Malakand.
Both sides agreed to closely monitor the development of projects in a bid to expedite their implementation.
The Saudi fund team expressed its willingness to finance the construction of Mohmand Dam, Shounter Hydropower Project, Jagran-IV Hydropower Project (22 megawatts), Shagarthang Hydropower Project, Skardu (26MW) and Hunza Hydropower Project (32.5MW).
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