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Govt to close down mines without safety measures

Updated December 06, 2018

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A coal miner wipes sweat off his forehead. — File photo
A coal miner wipes sweat off his forehead. — File photo

PESHAWAR: The mines without safety measures for workers will be closed down, warned mines and minerals development minister Dr Amjad Ali on Wednesday.

“The mines owners are bound by the law to adopt all necessary safety steps for their workers in mines. We will close down the mines functioning without such measures and will take legal action against mine leaseholders,” the minister told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club.

Dr Ali said the department had launched the online management information system in the first 100 days of the government to increase transparency and curtail illegal mining activities in the province.

He said the online management information system would not only increase the department revenue but would also help check illegal mining in parts of the province.

Minister says online MIS launched to check illegal mining

Accompanied by mines and minerals secretary Khaista Rehman, director general Muntazir Khan and other officials, the minister said the system also supported data compilation.

He said the government launched a modern mining cadastre system to ensure effective administration and regulation of mining rights and accurate mineral resource management by checking corruption.

The minister said the system would also ensure the security of the applicants’ priority, tenure of mineral titles, and provision of online reporting of various fiscal and regulatory issues.

He said the Mines Safety and Regulation Act, 2018, had been presented before the provincial cabinet for its final approval.

The minister said the mining department had contributed over Rs500 million to the exchequer by collecting taxes, while an additional amount of Rs40 million was collected as excise duty during the first 100 days of the government.

He said the department had begun a geological mapping project to tap minerals in the province.

The minister said the department had conducted around 451 inspections for underground mining, while 724 mines had been registered.

He said Rs0.4 million had been generated on head registration of different mines.

He added as many as 11 inquiries had been initiated in corruption and other cases and the relevant people had been awarded punishment as well.

Dr Amjad said a cell had been established at directorate of mine and minerals development department, wherein more than 16 complaints had been registered.

He said 83 mine workers had been given safety and awareness training, while 100 rescue operations were conducted during the first 100 days of the government.

He said initiatives had been taken for the provision of medical facility to mine workers, while scholarship programme had been introduced for their children to get free education from first to 10th grade.

The minister said the scholarships had been offered for the children of special persons.

The department officials, who were in attendance, said KP was rich in natural resources, which would be exploited to generate money.

They said Karak, Kohat, Haripur, Mardan, Swabi and Charsadda districts had sufficient gold deposits but they had yet to be explored.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2018

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