ASTORE - Provincial Minister for Excise and Taxation Haider Khan Thursday said the government was taking steps to explore natural resources for socio-economic development of the region. Talking to media, the local government minister said the entire belt was rich in deposits of precious and semi precious stones and the government was actively working on a plan to utilize those resources for uplift of the region. In this regard, he added workable policies were being devised offering numerous opportunities of investment in the sector. He said that many departments of gems and minerals sector were conducting different cutting and polishing courses of precious and semi precious stones as value addition to capture good share in market. He said many departments imported foreign cutting and polishing machinery and were continuously conducting different cutting and polishing courses of different lengths for the youth of Gilgit Baltistan.