Upgrading mining sector to lift province out of poverty: CM

Kamal blames politicians for lower-than-expected share of Balochistan in CPEC projects


Mohammad Zafar March 19, 2019
PHOTO: EXPRESS

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has blamed the politicians of the country for lower-than-expected share of the province in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, saying tough measures will be needed to generate more revenue.

“We will pay full attention to mining, as it is a key revenue-generating sector,” said the chief minister while addressing an international seminar on ‘Mining Development’ organised by the mining department at a local on Monday.

“Balochistan has a huge quantity of natural resources, but earns only Rs15 billion a year which is insufficient for the development,” said CM Kamal, adding that they would take “solid initiatives” for “promotion” of the mining sector.

The government would go for public-private partnerships in the provincial development projects, said Kamal.

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"Balochistan is popular for CPEC, Reko Diq, Saindak and its sea, and for being rich in natural resources," said Kamal, adding that the seminar was the first step towards development of Balochistan.

The CM said livelihood of a huge number of the population depended on coal mining in the province. “In Muslim Bagh, people are working in chromite mines and in Khuzdar, barium mining is going on,” he said. “Lack of human resource and basic infrastructure, and non-availability of electricity are key hurdles in the development of the mining sector in Balochistan.”

He brought to the attention of the participants of the seminar that “investors were reluctant to invest” in the mining sector due to “these difficulties”.

“Investors take raw material from Balochistan to Karachi due to lack of urban centres,” said Kamal. “Sometimes local investors have to faces losses. Whether it is the government or a company, they cannot survive without a solid policy or strong financial position.”

On policies, Kamal said the entire world was using latest techniques of business.

“Providing solid policies and security to the businessmen and collecting taxes are the responsibilities of the government,” he added.

The initiatives to be taken by the provincial government for the upgradation of the mining sector include; training of officers, solid government policies and provision of better facilities for both local and foreign investors, said Kamal, adding that proper research would be conducted so that investors had no problems.

It is pertinent to mention that every now and then accidents occur at the coal mines, where built-up of methane gas due to poor ventilation system causes huge explosions. Many precious lives have been lost over the years.

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