Upon assumption of office under the incumbent government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its coalition partners, one of the key priorities in promoting economic growth of the Province was the development of the minerals sector potential. In view of the same policy agenda, Minerals development has been having an overriding effect as a key driver of economic growth in the Medium-Term Inclusive Growth Strategy of the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To translate this vision into reality, the first step was the formulation and launching of a comprehensive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minerals Policy-2014; which was aligned with the National Policies on Minerals development. For further translation of the aforementioned policy goals, it was imperative to come up with a comprehensive set of legislative framework, operational rules and an institutional framework besides other developmental interventions.
Today, that specific moment of thanking the Almighty Allah has approached, as we have announced the promulgation of the first ever Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Ordinance-2016; for which I congratulate the entire team of professionals of the Minerals Development Department led by our respected Minister for Minerals Development and Labour Miss Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli.
In my continued supervision of the legislative process, I have been assured about the subsequent priority steps of in the minerals sector which are aimed at provision of equitable opportunities and an enabling business environment for the international community and foreign direct investments. Our Minerals Development Department is actively pursuing the simplification of procedures and introducing liberalization of policies, to eliminate discretions, ensuring transparency and merit and improving governance in the sector. I am sure that through such concrete efforts, especially the introduction of the Online Licensing System, my team has successfully provided ample evidence of the journey towards transparency and governance in the sector.
Our government will further align the overall investment and industrial policies with these objectives by introducing zero per cent import duty on machinery and equipment for exploration purposes, mutually negotiated investment agreements and priority for large scale mining activities in the sector.
The Minerals Development Department is playing a commendable role by introducing and opening new avenues for investments to both local and foreign investors in equivalence; and providing access to a unique regional trade route of historic significance – from the Central Asian Republics through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and to the rest of the world. The new legislative framework, to be followed by the updated operational rules and immediate lifting of ban on applying online for grant of mineral titles are steps of historic significance, which all deserve a great appreciation of us all.