ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has urged the government on Wednesday to review the mineral policy in order to exploit the natural resources to their full capacity.
“Mining Industry has immense potential to contribute towards the economic development of Pakistan. However, substantial reserves of various mines and natural resources have not been exploited to their full capacity”, Mahfooz Elahi, President, ICCI made these remarks while chairing a meeting here.
He said that the government should review the Mineral Policy with an aim to make it more investment friendly, effective and efficient with enhanced productivity and safety.
“To harness adequate mineral potential with domestic and foreign investment, the government should ensure contemporary mining policies in line with internationally known best practices with competitive fiscal incentives”, he added.
While referring to figures published in the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11, he observed that most of minerals witnessed negative growth rate during the period.
He said that mining and quarrying sector has grown by 0.4 percent in 2010-11 as against 2.2 percent last year while growth of coal declined by 4.0 percent, chromites 39.3 percent, magnesite 60.9 percent and barites 32.6 percent.
However, marble and granite sector showed considerable growth of 46 percent in exports over last year.
The ICCI President was of the view that the pace of foreign direct investment could not be maintained due to non-implementation of national mining policy by the provinces resulting in all the mining companies abandoned their activities gradually. “The Government should review the mining policy which would attract multinational companies to explore new targets”, he added.
He identified that mineral resources in the country were mainly confined to the Balochistan, Sindh, and KPK provinces, which consisted of large resources of lignite coal, crude oil, natural gas, porphyry copper-gold, iron ore, lead, zinc, gypsum, rock salt, limestone, uranium, and precious/semi precious stones.
Thus, there was a dire need of massive investment as Pakistan’s mining sector has offered substantial business opportunities for domestic and foreign investors.
Tauseef Zaman, Vice President ICCI said that private sector could play a greater role in mineral development, Government should offer a number of incentives to private sector investors to explore the huge potential, thereby enhancing the contribution made by this economic activity to GDP.