ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Finance was informed here Wednesday that the third loan tranche worth $1 billion from Saudi Arabia was likely to be released during current month.

A senior official of ministry of finance informed the committee that the government had already received $2 billion from Saudi Arabia while the remaining $1 billion would be issued during current month.

The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Senator Farooq H Naik.

To a question by Senator Talha Mehmood about the news of $2 billion loan from China, the official said he could not confirm the exact figures but negotiations in this regard were in process between the two countries.

The committee asked the ministry of finance to present details and current status of talks with United Arab Emirates, and China regarding loan agreements in the next meeting.

Earlier, the meeting considered and discussed a Bill titled the Banking Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 presented by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and referred to the House for further approval.

Discussing a private member’s Bill titled “the Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill, 2018”, the presenter of the Bill Senator Quratulain Marri said maternity leave should be enhanced from existing three months to six months.

The committee, however, agreed to recommend the enhancement of leaves to four months. The committee directed that a comprehensive draft of the Bill should be prepared by consulting all stakeholders and deferred it till next meeting.

The meeting also discussed on a point of public importance raised by Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Said in the House regarding problems faced by advocates and politicians in opening their account in the banks or any other financial institutions.

Muhammad Ali Saif said the advocates, politicians, and media persons were normally denied by the banks to open their accounts and to issue credit cards to them.

Senior official from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said there was not a single case in which any politician or a parliamentarian was denied by any bank to open the account.

However, he said with respect to issuance of credit cards or loans, different banks have their own policies.

The committee recommended the SBP to prepare a Standard Operating Procedure that if a person regardless of his or her affiliation must not be denied any services of the banks if he or she fulfills all requirements.