QUETTA: Chief Secretary of Balochistan Mathar Niaz Rana has called for modernisation of the mining sector in Balochistan, saying this is the need of the hour in the natural resources-rich province.

“Balochistan has more mineral resources than any other province in the country,” he said while speaking at a one-day seminar on ‘Establishment of Metal Park in Balochistan’. The seminar was organised by the Ministry of Industries on Tuesday.

The chief secretary said that benefits of development in any sector of the province should go directly to its people.

He said at present work is being done on more than 30 ty­p­es of mineral deposits on a limited scale at about 1,800 places in the province. It could not be expanded due to some unavoidable reasons.

Some of the reasons have been identif­ied by the Provincial Depart­m­ent of Min­e­rals and Mineral Dev­elop­ment, such as limited data on geological resources and lack of mineral development processing units. Because of these reasons important mineral reso­urce development measures could not be taken, he added.

He said the provincial and federal governments are focusing on development of mineral resources. “According to an estimate, Balochistan has 50 per cent of the country’s mineral resources, but its share in the total mineral production is only 5pc. So far work has been done only on 29 of the 50 types of minerals and the share of nine types of minerals is 95pc,” the chief secretary added.

He said in the past there was no allocation of funds for mineral development in the provincial budget.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2021

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