Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday stressed upon the formulation of a comprehensive export policy and assured that the federal government would make every effort to facilitate the exporters, traders, industrialists and businessmen. He said that the port city of Karachi had always been a gateway and home to exporters, traders and entrepreneurs that served as the backbone for national economy. He was addressing at Karachi Chamber of Commerce (KCCI) Export Trophy Awards ceremony. The prime minister said that Karachi always been the place of main hub for revenues generation for the country and underlined that Pakistan required extensive efforts for boosting its exports by setting up industries and utilization of modern techniques to compete in the global market. The export quality must be competitive in global market, he added. He also appreciated the contribution of exporters and industrialists for country’s economy and said that despite difficulties, they made relentless efforts to increase exports. The prime minister also observed that when compared with the neighbouring countries with regard to booming industries and exports, they still lagged behind in this race. Enumerating various factors of the past, he said they required very serious deliberations to evaluate the factors including the successes, failures of the past governments and lack of modern techniques, and issues faced by the industrial sector etc. “With mere blame-game, they will not get anything concrete as it would only cause damage and result in wastage of time. There should be a frank discussion as to how the challenges faced by the industry can be mitigated by the government by facilitating them,” he added. The prime minister viewed the price of power and gas as vital factors behind industrial development. He said the country was blessed with natural resources and said this year, the country would produce a bumper crop as according to estimates, the cotton production could reach up to 10 million bales. “Pakistan is blessed with natural resources and brilliant minds, but it cannot get place among the comity of nations if they keep on promoting rental businesses,” he said and stressed for increase in production and setting up industries, that would take the country on path of rapid progress. The prime minister expressed the optimism that with restructuring, collective hard work and the government’s sincere efforts, they would be able to put the country on track of progress and prosperity. He also hoped that the Interim government and the upcoming government would take these initiatives forward. The prime minister also emphasised upon resolution of supply of water for Karachi and said that the federal and provincial governments were making efforts in this regard. He felicitated the trade community and exporters for showing success in the export sector. Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori said the government-business community strain should come to an end by joining hands to address the issues. He said the concerted efforts were a must to resolve the economic woes of the country. He lauded the prime minister’s efforts for the economic revival and called for addressing the problems faced by the business community. Chief Executive of TDAP Zubair Motiwala, in his presentation, appreciated the government’s endeavors for economic reforms and devising long-term plans for agriculture, IT and mining. Highlighting the energy issues, he said owing to gas supply suspension, Karachi’s industry remained closed every Saturday and Sunday. He said Karachi contributed 52% of country’s exports but the power tariff was hurting the industry and could cause closures and unemployment. Instead of raising the tariff, the issues of line and transmission losses should be done away with, besides reviewing the free power supply facility to the officials. He also called for evolving a consensus on the charter of economy, cutting down expenditures and enhancing local production. He also suggested to placing the industry on top in the gas supply priority list and giving cold chains an industrial status. KCCI President Tariq Yousuf said the event was to recognize the contribution of the exporters who played a major role in the country’s economic development. He said with around 50,000 members, the KCCI was the largest voice of the business community. He told the gathering that despite difficulties and challenges, Karachi was the major contributor to taxation and GDP. He said economic and political instability had shattered the confidence of the customers, so efforts should be made to keep the industry running through remedial measures particularly, by reducing the power tariff. The KCCI president also called for a mechanism to ease the LCs opening, reducing the interest rate and introducing a contact-less taxation system. Earlier, the prime minister gave away prizes and medals among the prominent exporters.