PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Thursday announced an ordinance for lifting ban on mining and award of mine leases; however it mentioned that use of explosive material for mining will not be allowed.

The Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Minister for Minerals, Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli announced the new legislation at a joint press conference here at Chief Minister’s house.

Senior Minister Sikandar Khan Sherpao and Special Assistant to Chief Minister KP, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, Minister for Excise and Taxation Mian Jamshidudin Kaka Khel were also present on the occasion. Before announcing details of the new legislation, the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that there was no proper system and policy for minerals and KP was the first to notify its mineral policy.

From today onward, he said the people would get online information on minerals.

“We also amended rules to improve existing system and it will enhance our province’s revenue up to Rs 2 billion than that of Rs 1.2 billions,” he said adding that they would introduce scientific monitoring system to abolish the on-going checking of trucks on roads. The search and checking of trucks, he said would be conducted on mines sites instead of roads for which mobile squads would be recruited.

Khattak said that the promulgation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Development & Regulation Ordinance 2016 would bring improvement, wherein strict punishment had been announced for the violator.  Before this, he said 1948 Act was enforced.

The chief minister announced to establish Gems and Geological and Mineral Institution to proper highlight 71 kinds of minerals in the province. He said they were also holding negotiations with different institutions to promote and improve various mines and minerals and train officials.

The provincial government, he said would provide heavy and modern machinery for excavation so as to save the wastage of precious minerals.

“The government will establish facilitation authority for minerals investment under the new law. Besides chairman standing committee, one member each of the government and opposition will be member of this authority,” he said.

Similarly, he said the government would establish a mining system on international pattern to end reported nepotism and discretionary powers.

They, he said, would review area limitation so that more and more people could get business opportunities. They will initiate work on a project to discover precious mines from Chitral to Hazara at the cost of Rs 150 million.

To a question, the chief minister said that he had neither interfered in the affairs of the accountability commission nor had any concern with the case of Ziaullah Afridi case.

He said that baseless allegations were being levelled against him. He said he had never seen the files from the accountability commission and had kept him away from the mines and accountability commission.

The chief minister said that his government’s policy on Afghan refugees was clear. He said they had hosted Afghan refugees for the last 38 years and wanted their honourable repatriation.

He said that the federal government had signed agreement with the international organizations under the law.

Under the law, he said the registered Afghan refugees could remain in Pakistan for a specific time. He said the registration of Afghan refugees would be started from October for which the interior ministry would release funds.

He said that all refugees living here under the agreement would not be harassed nor they would be arrested.

He said proper procedure would be adopted for those Afghan refugees, who want business and they could continue their business under a proper law.

Khattak claimed that they have majority in the provincial assembly and has no problem in passing the bill. He said they were neither afraid of opposition nor had any problem but they wanted to immediately start work and that was the reason of promulgating ordinances.

He said they had discussed and passed these ordinances through assembly.