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‘Revenue from KP mining sector to be increased to Rs5 billion’

‘Revenue from KP mining sector to be increased to Rs5 billion’

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was determined to enhance the current revenue of Rs3 billion from the mining sector to Rs5 billion, said Provincial Minister for Mines and Mineral Development Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli here on Thursday.

Addressing the oath-taking ceremony of Frontier Mine Owners Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (FMOA-KP) at Peshawar Press Club, she said that steps would be taken to increase labour force, attached with the sector, from 100,000 to 150,000.

The minister said that the government would soon enact the first-ever provincial mineral law after proper consultation with stakeholders to achieve the required objectives.

Government, she said, was not going to pass any law in haste. There should be formal consultation on the proposed draft of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mineral Act, before its proper endorsement by the provincial assembly, she added.

The minister said that legislation was mandatory in all provincial departments following the passage of 18th Amendment. She said that promulgation of mineral law was part of legislation process, which could be proved more congenial and concrete for development of mineral sector in the province.

Regarding the charter of demands of FMOA-KP, the minister said that government would take all possible steps for resolution of its genuine problems. However, she expressed the hope that the mine owners would also extend support to the government for development of mine and mineral sector in the province.

Ms Tahirkheli admitted that mining sector lacked the required workforce and staff, whereas primitive mining methods were being used in excavation and exploration of reserves.

“We are introducing scientific methods and modern techniques for proper measurement and excavation of untapped natural mines and mineral resources,” said the minister. She said that government would not allow any illegal mining in the province.

She said that all pending cases and problems of mine owners would be resolved. “We are heading towards mechanised, phased-wise blasting process, which is aimed at ensuring safety and making the process more protective,” she said.

The minister called upon the mine owners to play their due role in reactivation of the closed mines in the province.

She said that foreign investors were keen to invest in mine and mineral sector as a representative of Chinese company participated in the event. She said that government would fully facilitate the foreign and local investors.

The minister administrated oath to the newly elected office-bearers of FMOA-KP. She also distributed shields among the members of the association.

Earlier, FMOA-KP president Sher Bandi Khan said that employment opportunities in the sector would be increased from 30,000 to 100,000 and revenue from Rs7.5 million to Rs3 billion within two years if their demands were met.

He said that interference of the land owners in mining operation and their illegal demands had put mining sector at verge of collapse as about 80 percent leases were closed.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2016

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