Boosting up mineral sector
From Our Correspondent
PESHAWAR As an important development to boost the mineral sector on modern lines and to encourage the private sector for joint ventures with the government with the aim to exploit the mineral sector potentials of the province to the optimum, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to setup Minerals Development Company, and a draft law has also been prepared for the purpose which would be enacted after approval from the competent forum. This was told in a meeting of Mines & Minerals Development department held here on Tuesday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair. Special Assistant to CM on Mines & Minerals Arif Ahmad Zai, Chief Secretary Dr. Shehzad Bangash, Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Amjad Ali Khan, administrative secretaries of concerned departments and other official attended the meeting. The chief minister has directed the quarters concerned to expedite setting up of Mines & Minerals Development Company and said that revenue of the province can be increased significantly by effectively utilizing the mineralresources of the province. He also directed them to take steps to fully utilize the precious minerals in the province by encouraging private sector investment adding that a mechanism should also be devised to promote partnership with private sector for the purpose. He also directed to take steps on priority basis to provide all the services including issuance of NoCs to industrialists and private investors under a single roof further directing to fix realistic timelines for the issuance of NoCs from all the departments. He also directed to further streamline the lease process to make it easier and more transparent adding that in case of non- commencement of physical work by the lease holders within the stipulated timelines, the leases would be cancelled as per the prevailing rules and regulations. Earlier, briefing about the overall performance of the department with special focus on the reforms initiatives, it was informed that all the official affairs of administrative department of mines and mineral development had been made rendered paperless whereas in the next phase paperless policy would be replicated in the attached formations of the department. It was further informed that initiatives were underway for the geological mapping of mineral resources in the province and an agreement has also been signed to this effect. Similarly, a modern laboratory was being setup for international certification of the mineral products. The participants were also informed that a project regarding setting up of mines rescue service and labor welfare centres in merged areas was due for completion. It was told in the meeting that under the directives of the Chief Minister, action has been taken against the lease holders who did not commence the physical work within the timelines adding that so far 13 mineral titles have been cancelled due to non-commencement of physical work within the timelines.
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