Pakistan to Receive Edible Oil from Indonesia (PHOTO: social media)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Newly appointed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday announced that Indonesia will supply edible oil to Pakistan immediately to meet the rising demand for the commodity.

This came after a Pakistani delegation under his direction visited Jakarta to discuss matters of mutual interest with the government of the island nation, as a released statement by the PM’s Office wrote the premier spoke to the Indonesian President Joko Widod in this regard.

According to the statement, at least 10 ships loaded with edible oil will reach Pakistan within upcoming two weeks period from Indonesia and Malaysia, facilitating the needs of over two million population of the south Asian country.

“Oil worth 250,000 metric tonnes is being imported from Indonesia after Minister for Industries and Production Murtaza Mehmood settled all matters related to the import of oil,” as local media wrote.

The first ship carrying 30 metric tons of edible oil is expected to depart Tuesday.

Commenting on the development, Arif Habib Commodities Managing Director and CEO Ahsan Mehanti said that the price of edible oil — particularly palm oil — increased three-fold since the end of PML-N’s tenure, according to the report.

He further added the decision will impact the imports and overall economy, saying “this will also negatively affect the rupee-dollar parity and the current account balance — which is already widening.”

Meanwhile, analyst explains the move will help the government cater to the demands of the people; however, urging the country to focus more on local production as it could no only provide citizens need but also increase overall economy of the country.

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Earlier this month, China agreed to refinance Pakistan with USD2.3 billion worth of funds amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves of the country.

This came at a time restoration of the country’s delayed International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme depends on the government’s capacity to make a fiscal adjustment of about 2.5 per cent of the GDP.

“Good News: The terms and conditions for refinancing of RMB 15 billion deposit by Chinese banks (about US$ 2.3 billion) have been agreed,” said Miftah Ismail, Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue, in a tweet.

“Inflow is expected shortly after some routine approvals from both sides. This will help shore up our foreign exchange reserves.”

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are under severe stress and declined by $190 million to $10.308 billion during the week ended on May 6, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The country is heavily dependent on foreign loans, as the Ministry of Economic Affairs data earlier this month showed that Pakistan received only $248 million in foreign loans in April, including $100 million worth of oil on deferred payments from Saudi Arabia.

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