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February 24, 2018

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KP mining permits causing loss to exchequer

PESHAWAR: An improper law for issuing mining permits has exposed the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The government has made the law for issuing mining permits for a period of one month to three months.

The fee for such a minor minerals permit is Rs 1 lakh. The government has not adopted any proper procedure (tender or auction) for these permits that is causing a heavy loss to the national exchequer.

The permit is not valid for any area other than the marked one. On January 15, 2018, the Minerals Department issued a permit (1020-23/DGMM/MM/PR/Permit(MominKhan) to Naushehra’s Momin Khan s/o Saadullah Khan.

He paid Rs 1 lakh fee for the permit and Rs 15,000 for demarcation. Momin was allowed to excavate 82.52 acres in village Ahmed Abad. When contacted, Minerals Department Director General Fazal Wajid confirmed issuing of mining permits by the government. He did not reply to the question “was unlimited mining against Rs 1 lakh fee not equal to causing a loss to the national exchequer”.

Assistant Director Technical Riaz said the permit holder could excavate minor minerals for one month as per his will. He said only two permits were issued recently – one in Naushehra and second in Charsadda. He said anyone could submit an application for a mining permit for any area in the province.

A Minerals Department officer requesting anonymity said the provincial government could earn more through auctions or tenders. The prevalent system was causing loss to the national exchequer, he said.

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