KARACHI (APP) - A Gems and Jewellery Training and Processing Centre would be established in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. An announcement here on Thursday said that the Ministry of Industries and Production has approved the PC-1 for the establishment of the Centre with a cost of Rs 60 million by Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC). It said that the Training and Processing Centre will provide state of the art facilities including Gemstone Identification Lab, Training Facility (Gem Faceting, Gem Carving, Bead Making, etc.) and gemstone processing facility. The timeline for the completion of the project would be 36 months. This would be first project of its kind in Azad Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company. The objectives of establishing a full fledge Training and Processing Centre in Muzaffarabad are to add value to the rough gemstone which will translate in to increase in foreign exchange earnings, to create employment opportunities in the region, to upgrade skills and technology of the sector, improving the skills of gem traders would result in better opportunities to earn foreign exchange, and to increase branding and marketing of Gemstone from the region. It was pointed out that Azad Jammu and Kashmir is rich in mineral resources including vast deposits of precious and semi precious gemstones. The area is bestowed with deposits of Ruby, Topaz and Tourmaline (Black, Pink and Green), Garnet (Red and Orange) and Quartz (Rock Crystals). Mostly gemstones are sold abroad in raw form resulting in loss of opportunity to earn good foreign exchange due to absence of any training facility and technology up-gradation in gemstone cutting, gemology and mining; lack of value addition of precious and semi precious gemstones and mineral specimen; inadequate marketing and branding with poor channelization of precious and semi precious gemstones to domestic and international markets. The establishment of Gems and Jewellery Training and Processing Centre in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, reflects Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Companys continuous commitment and efforts for the development of Gems and Jewellery industry of Pakistan from mine to market, said Bashir Ahmad Abbasi, Chief Executive, Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company. Pakistan, based on its potential in mineral wealth, can become a great hub of the gemstone industry in Asia, provided it takes a few essential steps that can enhance the exploration of resources and growth of business. The investment in Gems and Jewellery industry would bring foreign exchange and would be of great help in development of the inhabitants, said Bashir Ahmad Abbasi, Chief Executive, PGJDC who attended the Departmental Development Working Party meeting at Islamabad.