INTERVIEW WITH BILAL MULLA, FORMER CENTRAL CHAIRMAN PRGMEA

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Apr 2 - 8, 20
12

Bilal Mulla is a well-known personality in garment and textile industry. He has been doing business since 1972. He established his own company, Mulla International in 1980 on a very small scale and under his excellent leadership Mulla International has now grown to a medium-sized garment export and manufacturing company, well-recognized not only in Karachi but in Europe and North America as well. The company has provided direct and indirect job opportunities to thousands of people.

Mr. Mulla has been actively involved in various social, welfare and trade activities. Some of those activities are highlighted below:

He is former central chairman PRGMEA (Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association) for three tenures.

By virtue of Chairman PRGMEA, Mr. Mulla is also the Chairman of Board of Directors of Pakistan Readymade Garments Technical Training Institutes (PRGTTI), Karachi and Lahore.

He is also member of Textile Garments Skill Development Board, Ministry of Textile Industry, Government of Pakistan Islamabad.

He is also member of Board of Administrators of Export Development Fund (EDF) Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad.

Mr. Mulla led a PRGMEA delegation of 22 members to China, where a Strategy Agreement was singed between PRGMEA and Shanghai's Garments Machinery zone for promotion of trade between two countries. The agreement has been singed in presence of Masood Alam Rizvi, Secretary Ministry of Textile Industry.

Mr. Mulla is a Former Vice Chairman ESPIRE - BFG a joint venture with Bfz a subsidiary of Government of Germany. He is the Chairman Malir Association of Trade & Industries (MATI) and Karachi. He has served as Member Managing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce (FPCCI) for two tenures. He has been the Chairman of Value added Textile Standing committee of FPCCI. He has been the Chairman of Public Sector Standing Committee of FPCCI. He has also been the Senior Vice Chairman of Textile and Ancillary Industries Standing Committee of FPCCI. Mr. Mulla is a Honorary Secretary General of Kashif Iqbal Thalassaemia Care Centre.

Mr. Mulla had been Justice of Peace & Member, Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC). Besides above activities, He is also involved with various welfare, medical institutes, and hospitals and is looking after activities of different charitable organizations.

PAGE: HOW WOULD YOU COMMENT ON THE BUDGET FOR THE UPCOMING FINANCIAL YEAR?

MULLA: I do not expect a balance budget in upcoming financial year. On one side, government does not have enough fund and on another it does not have any vision how to use budget for welfare of general public of society. They do not care about the present situation in which it is difficult for the poor to even survive. Government has only political agenda and does not have any economic agenda and that is the main reason for instability in the country.

I strongly suggest that present government calls a meeting of all political parties, businesspersons, business leaders, chiefs of trade bodies, senior economists, financial consultants, bankers and try to prepare charter of economy to strengthen Pakistan. The charter must only focus economic agenda keeping in mind present facts and figures and the trade. Unless we have an economic vision, we cannot survive.

PAGE: DO YOU THINK THAT THE IDEA OF GENERATING REVENUE THROUGH BROADENING TAX BASE IS GOOD?

MULLA: Yes. I feel that broadening the tax base for revenue generation is necessary for our country and too much discussion has taken place on this point for last several years but nothing has been achieved. I strongly suggest agriculture sector should be taxed either by federal or provincial government.

PAGE: YOUR COMMENTS ON THE BILLIONS OF RUPEES ALLOCATED FOR THE ENERGY SECTOR IN THE LAST BUDGET.

MULLA: Energy crisis is the main reason for economic difficulties in addition to law and order and inefficient governance. But, Pakistan still needs to invest billion of rupees in this sector and the investment should be made in right direction with right planning, right fact and figure as well as with right research for which we need to hire services of technocrats of this field.

PAGE: THE GOVERNMENT REDUCED THE GST FROM 17 TO 16 PERCENT IN THE LAST BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD BE EXPECTED THIS TIME?

MULLA: We should bring the GST at level of eight per cent and the gradually increase it by one per cent each financial year. I am against high rate of sales tax as it gives rise to corruption and fraud, which has been witnessed over the period of last 15 years.