KP Chief Minister, Mahmood Khan, while presiding the meeting of Mineral Investment Facilitation Authority, said that the royalty rate of mineral resources utilization shall be reviewed and the income received from the mineral reserves of Tribal districts shall be exclusively spent on developing novel mining techniques to minimize the wastage during mining. Moreover, he expressed satisfaction over the increase of revenue Rs.3.25from the mineral resources during the out gone fiscal year and set a target of 6 billion for the current year.
According to the mineral policy of 2016, lease agreements with mining contractors supposed to be inclusive of inducting modern mining technologies. However, this useful clause had been neglected, while giving contracts to the mining companies. To add insult to the injury, marble mining is practiced on the primitive methods of dynamite blasting, resulting in wastage of useful marble resources, including the Onex.
It is undeniable fact that KP has the capacity and vast reserves of precious gem stones i.e. emerald, topaz tourmaline and among other. Unfortunately, over the past 12 years, even a small scale refining and polishing of raw gem is almost non-existent. The gem and gemology institute, which was established by the military led government in 2000s made redundant and subsequently closed by the ANP government in 2008. The decision gave a death blow to the value addition of gemstones for fetching high value in the international market. The export of raw gem is done by All Pakistan Commercial Export Association, which is stagnant at a $100 million. On the contrary, India has no gemstone reserves, but it earns a Forex of $4-$6 billion of refined and polished gem and gemological products. The gem industry of Jaipur in Rajistan is 160 years old and is entirely dependent on the import of gems from Afghanistan and smuggled out quantities of raw gems from Pakistan.
Due to location disadvantage of the province other industrial products are not compettive; export of minerals in properly refined and processed form will certainly boost the provincial economy. Rasakhai special economic zone has the proviso of establishing minerals processing industry in future. Till such time, that dream is realized; the mining of minerals resuscitated with the utilization of contemporary technologies, in addition of making functional the gem and gemology center at Peshawar.