Speaking at a press conference on May 26, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan said that his ministry was taking up the issue of pending refunds with the relevant stakeholders. The proposal of zero-rating would mean no tax, no refund.

Asked about the recent decline in exports from Pakistan, the minister blamed an energy crisis, terrorism and global factors for the downward slide in export revenues.

The finance ministry has withheld Export Development Fund (EDF) to the tune of Rs25 billion (US$245 million). This year, the minister said, the amount will reach Rs30bn (US$295 million).

The minister further stated that the finance ministry had been asked to release the withheld amount which can be used for supporting the export of those sectors which were declining.