Closure of gemological institute
Commercial Exports Association had persistently agitated the establishment of gem and gemological center in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa in successive governments from late 1980s. A small scale gem and gemological center had been established in Peshawar by the federal government in President Musharraf era to encourage the export of value added gems. Revolving capital of Rs. 20 million had been provided to it and machinery worth millions had been installed in it. The training center has trained large number of people in gem cutting and polishing. But now the gem and gemological center has been closed.
The provincial government had asked the center to handover the control of this useful training center to keep it running to produce trained manpower for increasing the exports of value added gems and gemological products. Its closure will affect the gemstones business and their export will significantly decline. Pakistan could not exploit the full potential of gemstones export which remained stagnant at $100 million despite possessing vast reserves of Emerald, Tourmaline and Lapis Lazuli. On the contrary, India does not have gemstone resaves but it exports properly cut and polished gemstones worth $2 billion because of modern gemological industry in Jaipur city of Rajasthan province. A large scale gem and gemological unit shall be set up in Rashakai special economic zone. But it is not likely that it will be made operational within the next few years. Till such time the gemological industry is set up in this special economic zone, the small scale gem and gemological center at Peshawar should remain running.