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Business News/ News / World/  Pakistan, ready to sell US embassy property, can cover imports only for 3 more weeks
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Pakistan, ready to sell US embassy property, can cover imports only for 3 more weeks

Only the next three weeks' worth of import expenses can be covered by Pakistan's remaining foreign exchange reserves.

In order to raise money, Pakistan now plans to sell a property connected to its embassy in Washington.Premium
In order to raise money, Pakistan now plans to sell a property connected to its embassy in Washington.

Once the International Monetary Fund (IMF) team arrived to negotiate the specifics but left without reaching a final deal, Pakistan entered a panic situation. Even though Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar agreed to all the prerequisites, the deal did not go through.

Islamabad now intends to raise money by selling a property associated with its embassy in Washington. As of December 2022, for a building that formerly housed the defence section of the nation's embassy in the US capital, Pakistan received three offers.

A Jewish group offered the highest bid, about $6.8 million, in order to construct a synagogue inside the structure. According to diplomatic sources cited by Dawn, an Indian real estate agent placed the second highest bid of roughly $5 million while a Pakistani real estate agent placed the third bid of about $4 million.

Pakistan had $16.7 billion in foreign exchange reserves in 2022. Now, Pakistan's debt is equal to 80% of its GDP. Pakistan can only cover the import cost for the next three weeks with its remaining foreign exchange reserves of just $3 billion. Pakistan has 29 days' worth of diesel and 21 days' worth of gasoline stocks left, according to Pakistan-based The Express Tribune.

Also Read: India has no reason at all to help Pakistan in its crisis

The Shehbaz Sharif administration has significantly burdened the public by acceding to the IMF's demands. In order to secure loans, Pakistan has sharply increased the cost of diesel and petrol. Wedding lawns, shopping malls, and markets have been asked to close early in order to reduce the consumption of petrol.

Pakistan reportedly has an external debt of 10 lakh crore. As there is ongoing fear of an economic situation similar to that in Sri Lanka, the wealthy in Pakistan will have a chance to leave the country. However, the underprivileged will either try to emigrate to a neighbouring country or get into serious financial trouble.

Also Read: Pakistan economic crisis: Many firms closed, inflation high, forex reserve falls

During an earlier visit to Islamabad, US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet stated that the United States was concerned about Pakistan’s debt owed to China.

"We have been very clear about our concerns not just here in Pakistan, but elsewhere all around the world about Chinese debt, or debt owed to China," Chollet told journalists in the US Embassy in Islamabad.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and sports. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Published: 20 Feb 2023, 10:31 AM IST
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