ISLAMABAD - Being member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Pakistan has extended Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status to all WTO member countries except India and Israel.

Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan told National Assembly yesterday that the extension of MFN as member of WTO was a reciprocal measure.

He said in 2015-16 Pakistan's overall trade was 62.32 billion dollars out of which Pakistan's exports are 21.98 billion dollars and imports were worth 4.34 billion dollar.

Answering another question, he said Pakistan was importing mainly raw material from India.

To a question, the minister said Pakistan and the United States enjoyed multilateral relations including trade and commerce. He said Pakistan was a beneficiary of US Generalized System of Preferences programme, which provides duty free access to over 3500 products. He said sectors covered under the GSP Plus included various manufactured items and inputs jewelry, various agricultural products, chemicals, minerals, marble and carpets. He said currently the United States was the largest export destination for Pakistani goods.

Dastgir said the government had passed on maximum benefit to agriculture sector which included subsidies on fertilizers.

Replying to a question, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch told the house that repatriation of Afghan refugees was in full swing and 264,000 registered Afghan refugees had been repatriated upto last month and approximately 200,000 un-documented Afghan Nationals also returned to their country so far.

He said the number of Afghan refugees holding proof of registration cards was 1.47 million while there were approximately 0.7 million un-documented Afghan Nationals in Pakistan.

To a question, he said Afghan refugees impacted Pakistan's economy up to 104 billion dollars.

He said Fata was the poorest part of the country and its share in this year’s budget was only 2.19 billion rupees.

The minister said that percentage of the poor in country was 38.8 percent, wheras in Fata it was 73.7 percent.

Baloch said till October 17 this year, 264,000 registered Afghan nationals and 200,000 undocumented Afghan nationals had gone back to their country.

He said government was considering to introduce a new visa policy for the Afghans who had contracted marriages with Pakistanis. He said soon the policy will be tabled in assembly.

To a question, Parliamentary Secretary for Inter-Provincial Coordination Muhammad Shafqat Hayat Khan told the house that various steps were being taken to settle disputes of Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia.

He said managements of the concerned companies had been approached and issues confronted by Pakistani workers were discussed. He said about 3,500 workers had returned to Pakistan while about 2600 were shifted to other companies and arrangements to repatriate the remaining workers or to settle them in other companies were being made.

He said a legal cell had been established by the Pakistan Embassy in Saudi Arabia and power of attorney of 2,000 workers were arranged to file their cases.

He said financial dues of all workers were reconciled with the help of companies' managements. The parliamentary secretary said the basic facilities like food, water and air conditioning were being provided to Overseas Pakistanis in all camps in Saudi Arabia. He said the Pakistan Embassy at Riyadh was in constant touch with Saudi authorities to sort out issues of Pakistani workers.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted the details of expenses of foreign missions abroad.

It said there were 1962 employees in the 122 missions abroad. Over Rs.11 billion was spent by the foreign missions.

In Minsk Belarus, Pakistani mission started operation in 2015, while mission in Yemen had been temporarily closed.

In Rome, present government had not sent any employee.

In Montreal, there is only one employee in Pakistani mission but its expense in 2012-13 was around Rs.8 million. In 2013-14 its expense was 6.6 million while in 2014-15 it was 6.2 million.

In 2015-16 its expense exceeded Rs.7 million.