Pakistan will receive its first cargo of crude oil from Russia in April, State Minister for Petroleum Dr. Musadik Malik has said, as the South Asian country battles an economic crisis.
The federal minister stated that “80% to 85%” of negotiations with Russia have been concluded on Thursday’s Capital Talk program of Geo Television. Our business agreement is nearing completion, and by the month of March, the complete commercial agreement will have been resolved, he said.
“We’ll give them the first shipping order in April. By the end of April, the first shipment of Russian crude oil will arrive, according to the state minister who spoke to the private channel.
According to the minister, Russia will supply the country with one-third of its imports of crude oil at a reduced price, “the impact of which will be transferred to the people.”
The government raised the price of all petroleum products by up to Rs. 13 per litre on Wednesday for the upcoming two weeks.
The minister responded on the most recent price increase by stating that the government pays in dollars for oil and that the nation is currently running out. He continued, “Oil prices depend on current international prices and the currency parity.
The minister stated that Pakistan imports energy products worth $2 to $2.5 billion per month. The entire country’s cash would be drained, he said, if we provided a subsidy.
According to the Pak-Russia agreement, oil and gas would start arriving in Pakistan this year, according to a statement made by Malik last month.
Depleting foreign exchange reserves and a low level of $4.3 billion in cash held by the central bank are contributing to Pakistan’s balance of payments issue.
According to information available from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the import cover is currently approximately one month, with February’s bill being $4 billion.
An additional source of concern for the South Asian nation is the continuing holdup in resuming its bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a facility that has been inactive since November of last year.
Also, the country is struggling with excessive inflation, which was recorded at 31.5% in February.