QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has said that his government will pay due attention to the mineral sector.
Speaking at the concluding session of a conference on mineral sector in Balochistan, he said due to negligence of successive governments the sector could not be developed and the mineral-rich province failed to benefit from its resources.
The Mines and Mineral Development Department of Balochistan organised the conference.
Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa presided over the first session of the conference.
The chief minister said the government had decided to give attention to the development of the mineral sector with a proper planning by providing all basic facilities to investors.
Mr Alyani said that despite having rich mineral reserves the province’s revenue collection was not enough for its development and progress. He said low collection of revenue affected the law and order situation, politicians, bureaucrats and the people from all walks of life.
He said Balochistan was known for Saindak, Reko-Diq, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its coastline, but no work was done to explore its mineral resources, which can resolve all financial issues of the province. He said the people were involved in coal mining while chromate and barite were being recovered from Muslim Bagh and Khuzdar.
“Lack of infrastructure, human resources, electricity and some other basic facilities is the main hurdle in the development of the mineral sector and the people hesitate to come forward to invest in this sector,” he said.
Mr Alyani said the businessmen did not invest in the mineral sector and asked local investors to bring raw material to Karachi.
He said the government was taking steps to encourage government-private partnership and improve mineral infrastructure, introduce amendments in the mining rules and develop human resources. He said Balochistan had become the centre of opportunities and the CPEC had opened it for investment.
Provincial ministers, the chief secretary, representatives of PPL, BME, ILO, MCC, many other companies, mine owners and investors from across the country and aboard attended the conference.
Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2019