KARACHI: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani reassured all stakeholders about fully implementing the National Finance Commission Award, and assured Sindh that its reservations over GST and VAT would be addressed Inviting local and foreign investors, he said that the government wanted to turn the country into a regional hub for trade and energy transactions.
Speaking at the ‘Brands of the Year’ award ceremony at the Governor’s House, APP news agency quoted him as saying that Pakistan’s economy is heading in the right direction after rectification of previous government’s policies. Condemning terrorism, the prime minister said that the entire nation was against extremism, adding that Pakistan had played its role in the best possible way.
He said that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was in safe hands, adding that the government wanted to have peaceful relations with India. Praising the role played by Benazir Bhutto and reiterating that her killers would be brought to justice, he said her sacrifices would not be allowed to go to waste. Progress in investigations on Ms Bhutto’s assassination will be made public by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, he said.
Expressing regrets over the recent issue of Faisal Shahzad in the US, the prime minister said that he could not comment on the issue because he did not have enough information. Mr Gilani said a number of recognised international brands were utilising raw material and skilled manpower to produce world-renowned products in our country, but “we have not yet been able to produce even a single internationally- acclaimed brand of our own”.
Ackowledging the Pakistani business community’s prowess in revenue generation, production of quality products and generation of employment opportunities, he reminded the audience that Pakistan, “despite being the fifth largest dairy producer in the world, the country has no recognised brand in this category”. “This is a challenge to our business community…to build our own brands without wasting any further time.”
The government, he said, was “ready to extend all possible support in this context but businessmen have to put their houses in order as well.”