A committee especially formed by the K-P cabinet has decided to establish a three-member mines and mineral tribunal to hear the disputes related to investment and mining in the minerals sector in the province.
The tribunal will be headed by a session judge level chairman and a legal as well as technical member will be part of it. The appointment would be verified by relevant minister, special assistant, member of the establishment or law department and a committee in which DG minerals development will be a member.
The final appointments of the tribunal members and head will be approved by the provincial cabinet which will also be responsible for checking the annual progress of the tribunal.
This decision was taken at a meeting of the committee comprising provincial minister and special assistant held here on Tuesday and chaired by Minister Housing Dr Amjad Ali. The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to CM on Mineral Development, Arif Ahmadzai, Special Assistant to CM on Information and Higher Education Kamran Bangash and Secretary Minerals Department Syed Nazar Hussain Shah.
On this occasion Arif Ahmadzai said that it was need of the hour to encourage investors as K-P was mineral rich and there were 250 minerals found in the province. He said that around 500 disputes have been decided successfully in the past two years by his office. Kamran Bangash said on this occasion that promoting foreign investment, industry and minerals sector was important for the economy of the province, adding that the tribal districts also known as newly merged districts were mineral rich too and steps should be taken to use these resources efficiently for the development of the economy. Minister Housing Dr Amjad Ali ordered the Secretary Minerals Department to finalise rules and regulations for the tribunal and its members. He said that the Minerals Department would provide scholarships to the children of workers in the mining sector.
It is worth mentioning here that the tribal belt of K-P is rich in several minerals but its mining was a difficult task in the past due to lack of security in these districts and after the merger personal disputes greatly hampered the development of the sector. Sometime armed conflicts were also reported on the ownership of the mines among the local clans in the far-flung areas which kept the investors at a safe distance thus depriving local residents of these poverty stricken districts of much needed job opportunities.
Corruption among the district administration and police as well as the Minerals Department is also a contributing factor in this regard.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2021.