INTERVIEW WITH MIAN MUHAMMAD TARIQ SHAFI, CHIEF EXECUTIVE KASHMIR SUGAR MILLS LIMITED

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Sep 12 - 18, 20
11

PAGE: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF?

TARIQ SHAFI: Let me introduce ourselves first as Al-Shafi Group of Companies, one of the leading industrial/commercial business groups of Pakistan possessing sound financial stability and excellent repute.

Several companies associated with the group are operating in the country and are contributing a lot towards economic growth of the nation. Before its inception, Al-Shafi Group was a part of Ittefaq Group of Companies.

With hard work, enthusiasm, and zeal of the directors, the group emerged as one of the renowned industrial entities of the country.

In the field of steel making, we have five decades of experience and take pride in being the pioneers in the manufacturing of steel products in Pakistan.

Our business group consists:

i. Ittefaq Sugar Mills Limited.
ii. Kashmir Sugar Mills Limited.
iii. Ittefaq Sons Pvt. Limited.
iv. Kashmir Feeds Limited.
v. Kashmir Poultry Breeders Pvt. Limited.
vi. Al-Shafi Sardar & Sons Pvt. Limited.
vii. Al-Shafi & Sons Enterprises Pvt. Limited.

Our main business activities include:

Refining sugar
Making of mollasses
Making of poultry feeds
Import and export
Making of steel products

The annual turn over of our group companies is about Rs10 billion. Besides having different directorships in Al-Shafi group of companies, I am chief executive of our Kashmir Sugar Mills Limited, Shorkot, District Jhang.

I hold membership of Lahore chamber of commerce & industry (LCCI) and also enjoyed the position of vice president of the committee in the past.

I have been a member of Saarc executive committee and also have got life membership of Saarc chamber of commerce & industry (SCCI).

I am a member of Pak-France Economic Cooperation Committee of FPCCI, member of Pak-Saudi Arabia business council of FPCCI and also member of Pak-Kyrgyzstan trade & industry committee of FPCCI.

I was vice president of LCCI 1996-98. Presently, I also hold the position of vice president of executive committee/regional chairmanship of Pakistan chambers of commerce & industry, Regional Office, Tufail Road, Lahore Cantt.

PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT PROGRESS OF SUGAR MILLS IN PAKISTAN?

TARIQ SHAFI: Basically, Pakistan is an agricultural country and majority of its population depends on agriculture. There are many opportunities for progress of sugar industry in the country. The byproducts of sugar i.e. molasses, bagasse and mud can further enhance its importance for establishing more industries in the country thereby contributing towards the economic and financial development.

PAGE: HOW COULD PAKISTAN INCREASE PRODUCTION OF SUGARCANE AND SUGAR?

TARIQ SHAFI: Presently, recovery of sugar from sugarcane is nine per cent as compared to other sugar producing countries which produce 13 to 14 per cent. The production of sugarcane and sugar could be increased by taking following measures and steps.

- Cultivation of quality cane seeds.
- Introducing cooperative farming.
- Improving irrigation system.
- Bringing more land under cultivation.

PAGE: HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE SECTOR IN PAKISTAN?

TARIQ SHAFI: Pakistan's agriculture sector has a very bright future. Yield of different crops can be enhanced by subsiding fertilizers and pesticides and the growers should be encouraged and facilitated to adopt scientific measures to develop and enhance the areas under cultivation.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ABOUT TAXATION AND COST OF DOING BUSINESS FOR SUGAR MILLS?

TARIQ SHAFI: Taxation should be consolidated and unified. It needs little reforms from the government side. However, the cost of doing business for sugar mills is not significant because the consumption of sugar in Pakistan is very high as compared to its production. Most of the time sugar is imported to meet the shortage of sugar in the country. Sugar making is a profitable business in the country.

PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR COMMENTS ON COMPETITION IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY?

TARIQ SHAFI: Sugar industry is facing two-pronged competition: internal and external. When sugar mills intrude in the area of other sugar mills for purchase of sugarcane, race of sugarcane procurement starts, which ultimately ends up in price war and consequently price of sugarcane goes up. This competition can be eliminated by adopting zoning system. Thus, every mill will be bound to purchase sugarcane from its area and no outside mill will be allowed to purchase sugarcane from other mills' area. Similarly, there should also be zone system for the sale of sugar. The external competition is with the other crops.

Wheat, cotton and rice are known as cash crops i.e. cash payment is made for these commodities. Therefore, the growers are inclined towards these cash crops. Financial assistance such as interest-free loans to the industry from the government and financial institutions can enable it to make progress further.