PTI government to launch new Mineral Policy to tap billions of dollars of mineral resources in Pakistan

PTI government to launch new Mineral Policy to tap billions of dollars of mineral resources in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Planning Commission organized a consultative session at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to get the input and proposals of business community for the new Mineral Policy in order to develop the mineral sector on modern lines.

Dr. Syed Akhtar Hussain Shah, Member (Private Sector Development & Competitiveness), Planning Commission, Riaz Sahito Deputy Chief Ministry of Planning, Javed Iqbal Khattak General Manager SMEDA KPK and others were present.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Syed Akhtar Hussain Shah said that the government wanted to develop mineral sector on modern lines as it has great potential to create new jobs and enhance exports.

He said the new mineral policy would envisage many interventions including estimation and mapping of mineral reserves with scientific methods, provincial mineral policies, rules, one window facility, fixation of royalties and duties.

It would also introduce Mine Magistrates in mineral rich areas for speedy disposal of disputes, development of mines access roads, provision of basic facilities like electricity, water, establishment of Common Facilitation Centers, establishment of export processing zones, specific banking products for import of machinery and training facilities.

He said the government wanted to develop new Mineral Policy in consultation with all stakeholders to develop and consultative session at ICCI was a part of that process.

He said after thorough study of primary and secondary data and consultations with key stakeholders, a draft framework of mineral policy was developed and business community should provide input to further refine it.

Javed Iqbal Khattak General Manager SMEDA KPK gave a detailed presentation on the draft framework of new mineral policy.

He said there were 92 known minerals in Pakistan including chromite, copper, gold, iron ore, lead-zinc, coal, gypsum, gemstones, marble & granite, out of which 52 were commercially being exploited.

However, the annual production of minerals was just 2-3 percent of total reserves, which showed huge untapped potential of mineral sector.

He said 5000 mines were in operation and 50,000 SMEs were engaged in mineral sector providing 0.3 million jobs. He said government was planning to develop clusters of minerals to facilitate growth and exports of mineral products.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President ICCI said that government should develop feasibility studies of all minerals and share them with major chambers of commerce to enable the private sector to exploit untapped mineral sources.

He said public-private partnership models should be encouraged to extract minerals. He said government should provide easy credit facility to SMEs of mineral sector for import of machinery and promoting mechanized mining.

He said government should set up mining universities on the pattern of agriculture universities that would facilitate the growth and development of mineral sector.

Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI, Khalid Mian, Tauseef Zaman, Abbas Hashmi and others highlighted various issues and challenges of mineral sector that need urgent attention of the government and gave proposals for mineral policy.