QUETTA: The federal government has assured the Balochistan government that it would be taken on board while taking decisions on exploration and development of natural resources and it would be given share from the resources.
The decision was taken in a meeting on Friday which was attended by Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan and other concerned authorities.
Moreover, the meeting decided to set up a joint working group comprising federal and provincial authorities which would take decisions on exploration and development of natural resources in the province.
The joint working group, besides protecting the rights of Balochistan, will also decide other issues such Sui mining lease, licencing zones, 18th Constitutional Amendment, Petroleum Policy and article 172 (3) and 158 of the Constitution. The meeting agreed on removing reservations of Balochistan and asked the working group to submit its report within a month.
Provincial ministers Mir Saleem Khan Khosa, Mir Zia Langove, Engineer Zamarak Khan Piralizai, Mir Omer Khan Jamali, Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Noor Muhammad Dummar, Deputy Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail and senior concerned officials of ministry of petroleum and Balochistan government attended the meeting.
Participants also discussed extension in Sui mining lease, petroleum policy, powers of the provincial government, issuance of licences for mining and exploration in mineral rich areas, agreement signing with exploration companies, the province’s share in mineral-related income, installation of LPG plants and extension of Saindak project’s mining area.
Furthermore, the meeting deliberated on exploration and development of mineral resources in Block 28, gas pressure, reduction in gas rates and the issues of Pakistan Mineral and Development Corporation, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd and gas distribution companies, and generation of employment opportunities and economic activities by the companies involved in mining and exploration.
Jam Kamal, while referring to coalition of the Balochistan Awami Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf at federal and provincial level, said that the two coalition partners would set a precedent of bilateral cooperation.
“We have witnessed high-level meetings in the past but didn’t see implementation of decision but now there should be progress on all decision because the centre is responsible to take all provinces together.” He stressed upon quick installation of LPG plants in the province.
Endorsing Jam Kamal’s stance, Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the OGDCL and PPL must prepare for the partnership with the provincial government in exploration of mineral and gas projects. He pledged to protect the rights of the province.
Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019