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September 16, 2019

Minerals Development dept reports 14% increase in revenue

Peshawar

September 16, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minerals Development department has reported a 14 percent increase in its revenue, held the first-ever auction of minor minerals in Malakand division and gave compensation to permanently disabled mine workers for the first time in the history of the province.

A communication by the Minerals Development department about its performance in the last year noted that it collected revenue of Rs2,184 million compared to the previous year’s revenue of Rs1,919 million showing an increase of 14 percent. It was hoping to do even better in the 2019-2020 financial year by collecting revenue of Rs4,000 million.

The department is led by Amjad Ali, who won two provincial assembly seats in his native Swat in last year’s general election. He had also won a seat in the 2013 polls and remained a provincial minister.

The report said for the first time ever in Malakand division minor minerals worth Rs308 million were auctioned. The total minor minerals auctioned in the province were valued at Rs1,208 million showing an increase of 331 percent compared with the previous year’s figure of Rs364 million.

The report said for the first time in the history of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa permanently disabled mine workers were provided relief by distributing Rs14.7 million among them from the Mines Labour Welfare Fund.

Also, scholarships of Rs16.283 million were awarded to 938 children of mine workers.

The department said 31 blocks of major minerals were auctioned after six years. The bid amount was Rs159.49 million. Moreover, 172 sites with major minerals would be auctioned on September 18-19. The department is expecting revenue of Rs250 million from this auction.

It maintained that 90 percent illegal mining has been controlled in the province through proper auction process.

According to the Minerals Development department, Rs183 million was collected on account of excise duty on minerals against the target of Rs118 million showing an increase of 64 percent.

As many as 1,270 cases were registered against those involved in illegal mining and reported to the local police. The report said 824 First Information Reports (FIRs) were filed and 446 cases are now under investigation by the police. It was assessed that those doing illegal mining owed Rs1,162.75 million and the cases of recovery of the amount has been taken up by the department in the concerned districts with the district administration and relevant authorities.

The department granted 800 mineral titles during the last one year. It may be noted that 1,216 mineral titles only were given since the establishment of the department.

Another initiative was the mining cadastral system, which is due for completion in June 2020, for enhancing transparency and ease of doing business in the mineral sector.

The geological mapping of the whole of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was also initiated to cover the unmapped 70 percent area of the province to identify the mineral resources.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mines Safety & Regulation Act, 2019 was pending in the provincial assembly for approval. The amendments in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minerals Sector Governance Act, 2017, which is an investment-friendly move to accommodate foreign investors, remove lacunas and address issues post-merger of Fata with the province, was pending before the provincial cabinet.

Besides, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Excise Duty on Minerals (Labour Welfare) Act, 2019 is pending before the provincial assembly for approval.

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