ISLAMABAD (APP): Realizing the country’s true potential in the Gemstones & Jewelry sector, the present government has organized around 395 training sessions in seven major cities during the last fiscal year for skill development of the workforce, equipping them with modern techniques and technologies being applied in the gemstones industry worldwide.
Pakistan Gems & Jewelry Development Company (PGJDC) conducted as many as 23 training sessions in Karachi, 114 in Lahore, 31 in Peshawar, 40 in Gilgit, 127 in Quetta, 45 in Muzaffarabad and 15 in Sargodha for capacity building of the industry and it’s manpower, according to an official report available with APP.
The report mentioned that Pakistan’s Gems & Jewelry exports stood at $25.267million during the last three years, which cautioned that a lot of work still needed to be done for the promotion of this sector.
Accordingly, the incumbent government formed a Prime Minister’s Task Force on Gems & Jewelry with the mandate to identify the inherent issues and challenges in the institutional arrangements, policies and practices. It has been tasked to give recommendations for the development of this sector on modern lines.
In that pursuit, the Task Force formed around eight working groups, consisting of its members, with certain Terms of Reference (ToRs) to meet the ultimate goal of promoting this sector and increasing Pakistan’s exports.
Policy Working Group has been given the task to review existing policies, practices and institutional arrangements for exploration, mining, valuation, processing for value addition (cutting & polishing), trading and export of gemstones in the country. It would also propose a formal administrative structure of the Gems & Jewelry sector in accordance with the public sector reforms agenda and international best practices.
Performance Review Working Group would evaluate the efficiency of the attached departments of Petroleum Division, Ministry of Industries and Inter-Provincial Coordination, and suggest necessary measures for improving their performance.
Gemstone City Working Group would develop the concept of establishing a Gems & Jewelry City in Islamabad, equipped with all facilities for the comfort of every stakeholder.
Foreign Direct Investment Working Group would explore potential for investment in infrastructure development through public-private partnership and examine the scope for development of Clusters and Special Economic Zones with public-private sector partnership.
Ease of Doing Business Working Group would propose recommendations on developing customer-friendly products and solutions by the banking sector to facilitate foreign investment in the Gems and Jewelry sector of Pakistan. It would formulate a business framework to ensure ease of doing business in this sector.
Besides, it would identify impediments in trade (including tariff and non-tariff barriers) and optimum exploitation of this sector’s potential. The group would propose a coordination and consultation mechanism with provinces to establish one window facilitation centers for national and international investors.
Gemstone & Jewelry Potential Working Group would give an estimation of the economic potential of the indigenous gemstones industry.
Report Compilation Working Group would prepare recommendations on way-forward and measures for promotion of gemstone industry and allied infrastructure, including the gemstones trade city establishment, besides a time-bound action plan for each activity.
Gemstone and Jewelry Value Addition Working Group would look into the existing policies on jewelry, give recommendations on the development of Jewelry Value Chain and prepare concept papers on Gemstone & Jewelry City.
A variety of minerals like Peridot, Aquamarine, Topaz in different colours of violet, pink, golden and champagne, Ruby, Emerald, rare-earth minerals Bastnaesite and Xenotime, Sphene, Tourmaline, besides many types of Quartz, existed in Pakistan, making it prominent in the minerals world.
Experts believe that Pakistan, based on its potential in mineral wealth, has the great potential to become one of the major gemstones’ exporters in the world, by just taking a few essential steps to enhance the exploration of resources, their value addition and effective promotion.