ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will finalise a long-delayed deal to export $9 million worth of wheat to Iran within weeks, a finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
Pakistan is negotiating to send 100,000 tons of wheat in partial payment for electricity supplies from Iran. Pakistan owes Iran $53 million for the imports but its cash-strapped state power company has no means to pay.
Talks are underway among Pakistani ministries to settle the finer details of the deal, said finance ministry spokesperson Rana Assad Amin. He said he expected the talks to be wrapped up within a few weeks.
The wheat shipment was due to be delivered to Iran in mid-February but has been repeatedly delayed by wrangling between the two nations and preparations for general elections in Pakistan.
Food imports are not affected by Western sanctions on Iran. But sanctions on oil exports have dried up the country’s cash flow.
The government insists that companies sell power for less than the cost of production, leaving them unable to pay for fuel or imports.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.
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