ISLAMABAD  -   The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) is scheduled to meet today (Tuesday) to consider to allow Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to import oil on deferred payment from Azerbaijan without going into bidding process.

The government is likely to allow PSO to importing oil on deferred payment from a Central Asian State to reduce the pressure on foreign exchange reserves, which are tumbling sharply. Finance Minister Asad Umar would chair the meeting of ECC, top economic decisions making body of the country. The federal government had already finalized the negotiations with different countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab of Emirates (UAE) for getting oil on deferred payment.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia had announced to provide a one-year deferred payment facility for the import of oil, worth up to $3 billion. The Saudi oil facility would also become operational early next month with a monthly amount of $274 million (around $3 billion annual). The government is also expecting to get oil facility of $3 billion on deferred payment from UAE in next few days, said an official of the ministry of finance.

It is worth mentioning here that Azerbaijan had already offered Pakistan an open credit line facility of $100 million to provide oil without any sovereign guarantees. Azerbaijan had nominated state-run Socar and Pakistan designated Pakistan State Oil (PSO) for signing a commercial deal in this regard. Azerbaijan had hoped that it could start import of oil to Pakistan after a signing of commercial agreement between PSO and Socar. PSO board of directors has also cleared the draft of commercial agreement and now wanted the federal government to approve waiver of PPRA rules to import oil without bidding process from Azerbaijan.