ISLAMABAD - In a major development, Saudi Arabia has agreed to grant $172 million soft loans to Pakistan for import of Urea fertilizer and for infrastructure in Malakand region.

Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Abdul Wajid Raja and Eng Yousef Ibrahim Al-Bassam, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Saudi Fund for Development, on Thursday signed two agreements to this effect here at the Economic Affairs Division.

According to details, the first agreement is a soft loan worth $72 million (Riyals 270 million) allocated for financing Reconstruction of Malakand Region Project.

The project is aimed to improve roads in Malakand region and contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing the level of education and health standards for people in this region of the country.

The second agreement is for the import of Urea fertilizer that will benefit the agriculture sector by enhancing production and maximize farmers’ income.

The agreement will also help produce additional food by enhancing the yield of existing under cultivation land rather than bringing additional land under cultivation.

The amount of financing to be provided under this signed agreement is $100 million (Riyals 275 million).

Eng Yousef Ibrahim Al-Bassam on the occasion mentioned to the commitment of Saudi government reflected in these agreements, towards supporting the sincere and continued efforts of the Pakistan government in promoting the well being and economic prosperity of its people.

He added that it would also deepen the bilateral cooperation and enhance the good relations the two countries are enjoying.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary EAD, Abdul Wajid Rana thanked Government of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Fund for Development for their support to Pakistan.