Home / Interviews / SMEs on the path of success, CPEC implementation a economic boost; need to avert huge trade deficit
SMEs on the path of success, CPEC implementation a economic boost; need to avert huge trade deficit

SMEs on the path of success, CPEC implementation a economic boost; need to avert huge trade deficit

UBG is helping govt and business community activities to become stronger and to strengthen FPCCI
Interview with Mr S. M. Muneer — leader of the business community of Pakistan

PROFILE:

S. M. Muneer is the Chairman of Din Group of Industries and former CEO Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). His company Din Leather (Pvt.) Ltd, is the biggest exporter of leather in Pakistan and he has four textile mills in the name of Din Textile Mills in Lahore.

POSITION IN COMPANIES

CHAIRMAN: 1) M/s. Din Leather (Pvt) Ltd. The leading exporting company of Finished Leather in Pakistan having most modern tanning unit in Karachi with last year annual turnover of about Pak. Rs.2.5 Billion. (US$: 25 Million)

CHAIRMAN: 2) M/s. Din Textile Mills Ltd. One of the leading exporters of different types of valued added yarns, having four most modern spinning units in Lahore (total 79,008 spindles) and exporting following very high quality value added yarns. Total annual turnover is about Pak.Rs.10 Billion (US$:100 Million): – 100% Cotton Knitting Yarn Brand “NABEEL”

– 100% Cotton Melange Yarn Brand “DIN”
– 100% Cotton Compact Yarn Brand “DINCOM4”
– Cone Dyed Yarn Brand “DIN”
– Slub Yarn Brand “DIN”
– Core Spun Lycra Yarn Brand KOMFORT
– Combed and Gassed Yarn Brand “DIN”
– P/C Melange Yarn Brand “DIN”

(THE ABOVE UNITS ARE EQUIPPED WITH MOST MODERN IMPORTED MACHINERY AND ARE PRODUCING FINEST QUALITY YARN IN DIFFERENT VARIETIES.)

HOLDING POSITION IN OTHER CONCERNS

VICE CHAIRMAN: 1) MUSLIM COMMERCIAL BANK LTD. SINCE 08/04/1991 – 05/06/1995 AND 30/08/2000 – TO DATE
MEMBER: 2) BOARD OF GOVERNORS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT KARACHI (CBM), SINCE 1997. (ABOUT 4000 STUDENTS)
MEMBER: 3) BOARD OF GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY (UMT), LAHORE, SINCE 1996. (ABOUT 4300 STUDENTS)
MEMBER: 4) BOARD OF GOVERNORS GREENWICH UNIVERSITY, KARACHI SINCE 30/06/1998. (ABOUT 750 STUDENTS)
TRUSTEE: 5) FATIMID BLOOD FOUNDATION, KARACHI, SINCE 29-05-2000
CHAIRMAN: 6) BOARD OF GOVERNORS DIN COLLEGE, CHINIOT, SINCE 12/01/2004. (ABOUT 500 STUDENTS)
MEMBER: 7) BOARD OF GOVERNOR INSTITUTE OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES (IBS) KARACHI, SINCE 2003. (HOSPITAL)
MEMBER: 8) BOARD OF GOVERNORS SHAUKAT KHANUM MEMORIAL TRUST, LAHORE (SKMT), SINCE 12/12/2004. (CANCER HOSPITAL)
MEMBER: 9) APPOINTED AS MEMBER, ADVISORY BOARD OF CITIZEN POLICE LAISON COMMITTEE (CPLC) BY THE HONOURABLE GOVERNOR SINDH SINCE 16/2/2008
CHAIRMAN: 10) CHINIOT ANJUMAN-E-ISLAMIA PAKISTAN SINCE 20/5/2007
PATRON-IN-CHIEF: 11) KORANGI ASSOCIATION OF TRADE & INDUSTRY KARACHI, SINCE 1996.
PRESIDENT IPCCI: 12) ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF INDIA-PAKISTAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (IPCCI) ON 12/11/2008 IN NEW DELHI (INDIA).
MEMBER: 13) MEMBER IBA ADVISORY COUNCIL SINCE 16/12/2009
MEMBER: 14) MEMBER BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE KIDNEY CENTRE POST GRADUATE TRAINING INSTITUTE SINCE 20/10/2011
MEMBER: 15) BOARD OF GOVERNORS NAZEER HUSAIN UNIVERSITY KARACHI, SINCE 8TH SEPT.,2011
MEMBER: 16) NOMINATED AS MEMBER OF PAKISTAN-INDIA JOINT BUSINESS FORUM (PIJBF) BY MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, GOVT OF PAKISTAN ON 13TH MARCH, 2013. THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THIS FORUM ARE TO PROMOTE BUSINESS AND BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA. THIS FORUM IS CONSTITUTED WITH PROMINENT BUSINESSMEN FROM EACH COUNTRY.
CHAIRMAN: 17) MUNEER HUSAIN FOUNDATION SINCE 21.10.2013 FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF CRICKET IN PAKISTAN.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: 18) APPOINTED AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF TRADE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF PAKISTAN (TDAP) BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN MIAN MUHAMMAD NAWAZ SHARIF VIDE NOTIFICATION NO. I/60/2008-E-6 DATED 12TH MARCH, 2014.
JUSTICE OF PEACE: 19) APPOINTED JUSTICE OF PEACE KARACHI DIVISION ON 11/3/2014 BY GOVERNMENT OF SINDH.

TROPHIES AND AWARDS

– DIN LEATHER (Pvt.) LTD. Received various Best Export Performance Trophies from the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Karachi, for highest exports
– DIN LEATHER (Pvt.) LTD. Have also been awarded the best award “GOLD MEDALLION AWARD” in recognition to its exports achievements by The International Export Association, U.K.
– S. M. Muneer (Chairman) has been Awarded the “BEST BUSINESS MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD” by The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Karachi, which is the highest award given by F.P.C.C.I.(In presence of General Zia-ul-Haq, President of Pakistan)
– DIN TEXTILE MILLS LTD. Has been awarded twice “The Top 25 Companies Award” by the Karachi Stock Exchange. a) In 2000 and Award was given by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Shaukat Aziz. b) In 2001 and Award was given by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mir Zafarullah Jamali.
– President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf has conferred “SITARA-I-ISAAR” Award to S. M. Muneer (Chairman) on 30-06-2006 in recognition of his outstanding services for the cause of humanity.
– President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf has conferred biggest Award of “SITARA-I-IMTIAZ” to S. M. Muneer (Chairman) on 14-08-2007 in recognition of his outstanding public services for the cause of humanity. This Award was given in a special ceremony by Governor of Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan on 23/03/2008 at Governor House, Karachi.
– After approval by the Governor of Sindh, Institute of Business & Technology (BIZTEC) has conferred Honorary PHD degree of Doctorate of Philosophy at its convocation held on 30th May, 2008 at Hotel Marriott in Karachi.
– Second time again after approval by the Governor of Sindh, Indus Institute of Higher Education has conferred Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy at its convocation held on 19th January, 2009.
– S. M. Muneer was awarded Life Time Achievement Award on 29/01/2012 in the City of Markham (Canada) by the Mayor Mr. Frank Scarpitti in the presence of members of parliament, advisor to Prime Minister and Pakistani Community. The Award was given for his services to act as the bridge between Canada and Pakistan in promoting business and friendship.
– S. M. Muneer was awarded “Life Time Achievement Award” by the President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, in the President House on 27/08/2012.
– Mr. S. M. Muneer was awarded ” FPCCI 1ST GOLD MEDAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD” for the year 2012 by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan on 22nd June, 2013. Din Textile Mills Ltd, have been awarded “TOP 25 KARACHI STOCK EXCHANGE COMPANIES AWARD.” This AWARD is presented to Mr. S. M. Muneer (Chairman) Din Group of Industries on 26.03.2015 by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan.
– S. M. Muneer has also been awarded “LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD” by Federal Minister for Planning Development & Reform, Professor Ahsan Iqbal on April 05, 2015 at Marriot Hotel Karachi.

FOREIGN VISITS

– Travelled abroad extensively in the last 46 years to various countries for the promotion of export orders for more than 450 times.
– Visited following countries as the Leader of Pakistan’s’ Official Trade Delegation of Government of Pakistan.
– INDIA 1982
– NEW ZEALAND & FIJI ISLAND 1984
– JAPAN/KOREA 1985 – TURKEY 1991
– Visited Turkey and Iraq as the Member of Govt. Official Delegation led by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in1989.
– Visited Turkey as Member of Govt. Official Delegation with Senator Sartaj Aziz Federal Finance Minister in 1991
– Visited Muscat as the Member of Govt. Official Delegation led by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and signed “Cooperation Agreement” between FPCCI and Oman Chamber in 1994
– Visited Germany as President F.P.C.C.I. with official delegation led by Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and signed “Cooperation Agreement” between F.P.C.C.I. & DIHT (German Federation) from April 18th to 20th April 1994.
– Visited Turkmenistan with Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from 25th to 28th October, 1994.
– Visited Japan with Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from 16th to 21st January, 1996.
– Visited Indonesia and Brunei with Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from 5-10 March,1996.
– Visited Bahrain & Syria with Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from 22-25 April,1996.
– Visited Korea with Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto from 21st July to 24th July 1996.
– Visited with Mr. Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan as the member of official delegation to the following countries.

21-24 November, 2004. Sri Lanka, Maldives and India.
31st May, 2005 Lebanon
31st May to 3rd June, 2005 Turkey
8th to 11th August, 2005 Japan
11th to 13th August, 2005 Hong Kong.
28th Sept to 3rd Oct. 2005 Korea & Malaysia

– Visited Turkey with Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif from 12th Jan to 16th January, 2010.
– Visited India with Pakistan official delegation head by Mr, Mukhdoom Amin Fahim, Federal Commerce Minister from 26/9/2011 to 1/10/2011.

POSITIONS HELD IN THE PAST

1: Chairman of All Pakistan Tanners Association (Central Zone ) in the following years: 1969-70, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86 and 1993-94. (seven times). Organized “Pakistan Leather Show” since 1979.
2: Member of Federal Parliament (Government of Pakistan) in 1984-85. (Majlis-e-Shura)
3: Vice Chairman/Senior Vice Chairman of S.I.T.E. Association of Industry, Karachi, for two years which is one of the biggest Industrial Association of Pakistan in 1985-86.
4: Chairman of Export Promotion Committee for Leather and Leather Garments from 1981 to 1986.
5: Senior Vice President of Faran Club (International) 1986-87
6: President of Faran Club (International) 1987-88.
7: Trustee in Karachi Port Trust for 1986-87.
8: Vice Chairman of Karachi Port Trust for 1987-88 & remained acting Chairman many times.
9: Chairman, Korangi Association of Trade & Industry which is the biggest Industrial Association of Pakistan for 1988-89 & 1990-91. (Two times)
10: Member of Managing Committee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 1985-1987 & 1990-91. (two times)
11: Member of Managing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Karachi, 1988-1990.
12: Vice President of The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Karachi, for 1990-91 and was Acting President, many times during 1990-91.
13: President Karachi Gymkhana Club for the year 1991-92.
14: Vice Chairman of Muslim Commercial Bank Limited during since 08-04-1991 to 04-06-1995
15: President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce& Industry during Jan-94 to Mar-1996.
16: Federal Minister of State & Chairman Pakistan Trade Fair Corporation in 1997 Appointed Minister of State and Chairman Pakistan Trade Fair Corporation as technocrate (as he is not a member of any political party). Not taken any benefit that is any salary, car, petrol, driver or any travelling charges and everything was paid personally and have given the services to the business community completely free with pleasure without any burden of any sort on national exchequer.
17: Chairman of Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd. from 05-06-1995 to 27-06-1997.
18: Vice President of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (Sindh Provincial Branch) from 23-07-1998 till 09-10-2002.
19: Director Investment Corporation of Pakistan from 12/3/1997 till 21/03/2001
20: Director State Cement Corporation of Pakistan from 27/10/2003 to 13/04/2004.
21: Chairman of Aiwan-e-Tijarat-o-Sanat Hospital Trust, Karachi. 1997-1998
22: Director, Corporate & Industrial Restructuring Corporation (CIRC) Govt of Pakistan, Since 06-01-2001 till 22/09/2006 ( Mr. Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan was the Chairman, of this CIRC.)
23: Vice Chairman Chiniot Anjuman-e-Islamia from 24/01/2001 till 19/05/2007.
24: Director National Industrial Parks Development and Management Company (NIP) from 18/4/2006 till 8/4/2008.
25: Director Pakistan Textile City (Pvt) Ltd. Karachi from 10/11/2004 till 15/09/2008.
26: Member Board of Governors Police Hospital Karachi & Hyderabad from 13/3/2006 till 29/1/2009
27: Pak-Canada Business Council of FPCCI for 2009/2010 & 2012/2014

WELFARE PROJECTS

– An Active Member and Chairman of Chiniot Anjuman-e-Islamia, a social welfare society running many dispensaries, maternity homes, schools and hospitals in Karachi, Faisalabad and Chiniot. Recently the Trust has completed a big hospital of about 150 beds in Korangi Area.
– Convenor, Quaid Foundation (Mohammad Ali Jinnah, To spread Quaid’s message)
– Founder Life Member of Pakistan Hypertension League Karachi.
– Member of World hypertension League
– Member Board of Governors “Professional Education Foundation” since 14/04/2010, (PEF) is a registered trust giving scholarships to brilliant students whose parents cannot finance the expenses of their education, currently 700 students on role and studying leading universities of Pakistan with a targeted increase of 150-200 students every year.
– Recently constructed a very modern girls College in the name of “Din College” in Chiniot and the college is working under the auspices of Chiniot Anjuman Islamia. This College was inaugurated in September, 2004 by Governor of Punjab Lt. Gen. (Retd) Khalid Maqbool.
– Din Group through its Chairman Mr. S. M. Muneer donated Rupees One Crores in the President Relief Fund after earth quake on 8th Oct.,2006 and also donated Rs. One Crore for Flood Relief in 2010.
– Director of “Make-A-Wish Foundation International – USA since 18th Sept., 2008.
– Patron-In-Chief “Friends of Burns Centre” Civil Hospital Karachi since 8/10/2004.
– Trustee of “The Legend Trust” under chairmanship of Governor of Sindh since 7/11/2006 (The job of this Trust is to help the renowned artists for their grievances).
– Founder Member of “Trust for Vaccines & Immunization” (TVI) since Dec., 2009.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

– Member: Karachi Gymkhana Club, Since 10/08/1972
– Member: Karachi Club, Since 14/04/1992
– Member: Karachi Golf Club, Since 24/12/1987
– Member: Defence Authority Marina Club, Karachi, Since 25/08/1992
– Member: Faran Club International – Karachi, Since 19/07/1986
– Member: Bath Island Lions Club, Karachi, Since May, 1994
– Member: Muslim Gymkhana Karachi, Since 02-10-1998
– Member / Director: Arabian Sea Country Club, Karachi, Since 01/07/1997
– Member: ACACIA Country & Golf Club, Since 24/01/2008
– President: Karachi New MJF Lions Club, Since 17/10/2006

Pakistan & Gulf Economist (PAGE) had an exclusive conversation with Mr S. M. Muneer regarding the industry and the economy of Pakistan. The gist of the conversation by him is given below:

Small & Medium Enterprises are better now comparatively. SMEs are disturbed because of electricity and gas bills. The good thing is that the government as well as State Bank of Pakistan are cooperating and are lenient with the SMEs. No country in the world can get success without the success of SMEs. India’s economic success can be attributed to the success of SMEs and same is the case with the USA. Our businessmen are second to none in the world. They only need a bit encouragement and loan on easy installments to progress. There is so much scope for SMEs in our economy. I see good future for SMEs in Pakistan.

Our import bill was $52 billion and export was $20 billion during last fiscal year. Our remittances unfortunately could not touch the mark of $20 billion during last fiscal year. Our reserves were around $25 billion however now they hover around $20 billion. Looking at the current import trend during last 03 months of the current fiscal, I foresee the import bill to touch $60 billion by the end of the current fiscal year. Even if our export figures touch $25 billion by the end of the current fiscal year, we will not have fiscal space. The only way out is to enhance our exports and decrease our imports to avert huge trade deficit. The surprising thing recently noticed was the all of a sudden increase on import taxation i.e. regulatory duty. This ostensibly was done by the government to curb import, however, it has become counterproductive. When the importers came to know all of a sudden that certain duty has been imposed with immediate effect, they were disappointed. The government should have given respite to the importers by announcing it earlier and should have given some time to those whose containers are already at the port. Based on such surprising decisions of regulatory duty, many dedicated businessmen would feel disappointed and many go bankrupt.

I congratulate Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for his efforts for CPEC. He has done a great favor to Pakistan. CPEC is undoubtedly a game changer for Pakistan. Many of our rivals are disturbed because of CPEC since they know that CPEC is great for Pakistan. The corridor would help our economic growth since economic zones would be established alongwith the corridor and it would help China as well since China needs warm waters of Gwadar. The only reservation which I have is that we have heard that industries established under the CPEC would enjoy tax holiday for 23 years whereas the industries already in operation would not have such tax holiday which may result in the closure of the existing set up. I have expressed this reservation to the concerned authorities for which answer is still awaited. The government has to look at this serious issue. I endorse that CPEC would bring about industrialization in Pakistan. Around $36 billion have already been realized in input of CPEC. We must realize that CPEC is not the donation by China to Pakistan. It is an equity game i.e. 70% by China and 30% by Pakistan so it is a win-win situation. We are delighted to know that government has already got the security measures on timely basis for CPEC. Everything is well-organized and I think the credit goes to Mr Ahsan Iqbal for the great job done by him in terms of implementation.

Until recently the local investors were reluctant to invest due to the security situation, however, due to the untiring efforts of Pakistan Army and Sindh Rangers in Sindh, the security situation has improved and I salute Pakistan Army and DG Rangers Sindh for their efforts. Karachi was not safe at all, however, the current situation of security in Karachi is very good which has encouraged the local investors and business sentiment has improved. Let me tell you that the biggest hurdle in investment in Pakistan is the cost of doing business. Electricity and gas tariff is too high in Pakistan. I have recently conveyed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Shahid Khakan Abbasi, that industrialization is very essential for employment opportunities for the youth. Even small factories can employee 400 to 500 individuals, however, incase a factory closes, lots of people lose their jobs which results in multiple problems. Industrialization is the only solution for the unemployed population of Pakistan. We cannot progress without industrialization in Pakistan. I am very optimistic about Pakistan. Good days are ahead. The best thing of 2018 according to me is that there would be no shortage of electricity in Pakistan since so many dams are being built, so many IPPs are being established and coal-based power plants are going to produce electricity.

Thar coal is an asset for Pakistan. Solar is also being used alongwith lots of wind projects which indicates that there would be no load-shedding in Pakistan in a year or so. The government must reduce the electricity and gas tariff for the industry and must look at giving incentives so that industrialization may flourish in Pakistan. We are not competitive in the international market which is one of the reasons for the decline in our exports. The government must immediately reduce the energy prices for the industry.

The biggest problem for the business community is non-payment of refunds of the business community, which has resulted in closure of 80% industry of Faisalabad. Refunds amounting to more than Rs 300 billion were not released which was one of the causes of the decline in exports from $24 billion to $20 billion over the period of last 03 years.

I am proud to be a Pakistani. To me, there is no country like Pakistan in the world. Pakistan is the best in the world. I was the CEO/Chairman of TDAP for 03 years. I was asked by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to head TDAP. There was corruption of 1300 crores in TDAP before I joined and there was zero corruption when I left. TDAP had only 05 crore rupees when I joined and the same organization had one billion and 20 crore rupees when I left. You may see the difference. TDAP organized 146 exhibitions during my tenure and had plenty of funds. The cost of an exhibition organized by me for 15 crore rupees was 26 crore rupees before I joined TDAP. Some people were disturbed due to my honesty.

Honesty, dedication and good management may take the organizations to the height of success and this is what I practice and preach. We do not tolerate dishonest individuals. We only want honest and dedicated people around us. Before we took over the charge of FPCCI, salary to the employees was being given from the provident fund, however, as of today there are eight crore rupees. Let me tell you that I have not given these eight crore rupees from my own pocket. Over the period of last three years, 03 Presidents namely Mian Idrees, Rauf Alam and Zubair Tufail from our panel United Business Group (UBG) have served FPCCI. Mr Zubair Tufail is still the president of FPCCI. He is a very simple and dedicated person. Mr Zubair Tufail has spent crores of rupees from his own pocket to serve Pakistan and the business community. United Business Group is preparing for the 4th election and we are hopeful that the next president of FPCCI would also be from our group.UBG has very organized system. No decision is made only either by me or by Iftikhar sahib, the Chairman UBG. Every person in UBG is dedicated. We don’t have any dishonest person in our group. Dishonest people cannot survive with us and honest can never leave us. We serve every person no matter what the stature of the person is. For us small as well as big businessmen are same and we treat everyone equally. We are so thankful to God that even we get congratulations from the Prime Minister of Pakistan. However, let me tell you that we have no aim to indulge in politics. We only want FPCCI to strengthen and we want to serve the business community. UBG is acting as a bridge between the government and the business community to strengthen the business activities in Pakistan. The only purpose of UBG is to strengthen FPCCI and serve the business community.

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