• Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Pakistan passes special order for barter trade with Afghanistan, Iran and Russia

By: Eastern Eye

Pakistan has passed a special order to allow barter trade with Afghanistan, Iran and Russia for certain goods, including petroleum and gas, the Ministry of Commerce said last Friday (2).

With barely enough foreign exchange reserves to cover one month’s imports, Islamabad is desperately trying to manage a balance of payments crisis and bring inflation under control after it hit a record of nearly 38 per cent last month.

The government order, called the Business-to-business (B2B) Barter Trade Mechanism 2023 and dated June 1, lists goods that can be bartered. State and privately owned entities would need approval to participate in the trade mechanism.

After Pakistan’s first purchase of discounted Russian oil in April, petroleum minister Musadik Malik said Pakistan would only be buying crude, not refined products, under the deal.

There was no confirmation about how the payment would be made. But, Malik said purchases could rise to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) if the first transaction went smoothly.

Last year, Pakistan imported 154,000 bpd of crude oil, little changed from 2021, data from analytics firm Kpler showed.

In May, the country’s Petroleum Dealers Association said up to 35 per cent of the diesel sold in Pakistan had been smuggled from Iran.

The government has also ordered a clamp down on smuggling of flour, wheat, sugar, and fertiliser to Afghanistan.

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