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Saudi Arabia finalising extension of $3 billion deposit to Pakistan

Last year, the kingdom deposited $3 billion in Pakistan's central bank to help support its foreign reserves

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Saudi Arabia finalising extension of $3 billion deposit to Pakistan
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Davos: Saudi Arabia is finalising the extension of the kingdom's $3 billion deposit to Pakistan, Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan told Reuters.

"We are currently finalising extending the $3 billion deposit to Pakistan," he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Last year, Saudi Arabia deposited $3 billion in Pakistan's central bank to help support its foreign reserves.

Jadaan did not offer further details, but on May 1 the two countries said in a joint statement that they would discuss the possibility of supporting the deposit by extending its term "or through other options."

Pakistan is in dire need of external finances, hurt by high inflation, reserves declining to as low as less than two months' of imports, and a fast-weakening currency.

Jadaan said Pakistan was an important ally and the kingdom would stand behind the South Asian nation.

Uncertainty over the revival of an International Monetary Fund programme has compounded volatility in the economy and markets amid a political crisis since a new government took over last month from ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The IMF is likely to conclude ongoing talks over a 7th review in Doha.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif appeals nation to follow SOPs amid COVID-19 surge

Pakistan has reported one death and 541 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, the highest since March 11 when it recorded 571 positive cases.

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PM Shehbaz Sharif appeals nation to follow SOPs amid COVID-19 surge

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday appealed the nation to follow the anti-COVID SOPs as a surge was being recorded in the coronavirus cases in the country.

The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to discuss the COVID situation, said that the frontline health workers and doctors had rendered numerous sacrifices to keep the countrymen safe from the disease,, and also paid tribute to them.

Therefore, he urged the people not to squander the success achieved against the coronavirus.

The prime minister directed the chief secretaries of the provinces to ensure implementation of the SOPs at crowded places, besides enforcing full vaccination, booster doses, and use of masks and sanitizers.

He also called for use of masks and sanitizers at the cattle markets set up ahead of Eidul Azha, weddings and other private gatherings.

The prime minister said the adherence to the SOPs was inevitable for the safety of one’s own as well as the dear ones.

He said the performance of all institutions particularly the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) had been laudable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting was briefed in detail about the COVID-19 situation at local as well as the global level.

It was told that overall a downward trend was observed in the number of cases across the world.

The participants were told that the new variant of the Omicron led to a recent surge in coronavirus cases in the country. On June 28, over 3% cases were reported in the country on June 28, though the ratio of hospitalization in this variant was lesser than that of the previous waves.

The health authorities told the meeting that 86% of the above 12 years population had been fully vaccinated while 93 percent got at least a single shot. Currently, the country’s capacity was to vaccinate around 200,000 people per day.

It was told that the whole Sindh population had been fully vaccinated while the vaccination process was underway in Punjab and other provinces.

Moreover, the steps were being taken to strictly monitor the movement of people on the border, and Pass Track APP was also being improved to make it easier to use.

The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned not only to ensure the enforcement of the SOPs but also to carry out a mass awareness drive on the subject.

Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, Rana Sanaullah, Sherry Rehman, National Disaster Management Authority chairman, federal secretaries of information and national health services, and other senior officers attended the meeting.

The chief secretaries of the four provinces joined the meeting via video link.

It is pertinent to remember that Pakistan has reported one death and 541 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, the highest since March 11 when it recorded 571 positive cases. 

According to the figures released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Wednesday, an uptick in new COVID-19 cases in Pakistan consistently continues as the country reported over 500 new daily cases for the first time in three months. 

Following the situation, the health ministry said that wearing masks has been made mandatory on all domestic flights, railways and public transport.  

The overall tally of the infected people climbed to 1,535,144 across Pakistan after adding the fresh cases.  

March 23 was the first day without any recorded deaths in Pakistan since the pandemic took hold in 2020. Official death figures are typically lower at weekends and holidays because of a lag in reporting.  

The health authorities have advised the people to restart following COVID-related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) such as wearing face masks, sanitizing hands, and maintaining social distance.

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No intention to impose whole of petroleum levy: Miftah

At present, there is zero petroleum levy on the petroleum products.

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No intention to impose whole of petroleum levy: Miftah

Islamabad: Federal Finance and Revenue Minister, Miftah Ismail here on Wednesday clarified that the government has no intention to pass on the full amount of petroleum levy (Rs.50 per liter) as incorporated in the Finance Bill 2022-23 to the consumers. 

“The government has got the permission from you (the house) to impose up to Rs.50 per litter levy on petroleum products but there is no hope and intention to take the levy up to this figure”, he said while speaking in the National Assembly (NA). 

The Minister also informed the members of the house that at present there is zero petroleum levy on the petroleum products.

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Pakistan

President lauds services of armed forces of Pakistan

They are real defenders of the motherland.

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President lauds services of armed forces of Pakistan

Islamabad: President Dr. Arif Alvi has called for creating skilled human resources to compete with world in various sectors of life.

He was addressing the graduation ceremony of 35th Air War Course at Pakistan Air Force Air War College Faisal in Karachi on Wednesday.

Dr Arif Alvi said that targets of development could only be achieved today by fully mobilizing human resources and adopting technological advancements and modern methods.

The President lauded the services of the armed forces of Pakistan and said that they are real defenders of the motherland.

As per reports, 70 officers of all the three armed forces of Pakistan and friendly country passed out— 35 from Pakistan Air Force, ten from Pakistan Army and seven from Pakistan Navy. 

Participants from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Jordon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Iraq were also part of the course. 

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