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KP Govt Says No Intention Of Taking Over Ex-FATA Mines

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Peshawar

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government spokesman Ajmal Wazir has said that the government had no intention of taking over the mines of the newly merged tribal districts.

While addressing a press conference on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minerals Sector Governance (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Wazir said that opposition parties, instead of expressing criticism, should appreciate the government for the bill.

Minister for Mines and Minerals Dr Amjad Ali, Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan and MPAs from tribal districts were present during the press conference.

Wazir said that the government would welcome any suggestions of the opposition parties for the well-being of the tribal districts. 

He stated that under the law, ownership of the land surface, where mines existed, would rest with the local communities, and they would enjoy all the rights they had before the merger.

He added that the local tribal communities would also be given priority when mineral titles would be granted.

Wazir further said that the government was not changing taxation and the status of mines’ ownership of the local community.

Meanwhile, Minister Mines and Minerals Dr Amjad Ali asked opposition parties to read the draft of the bill before criticizing it.

Dr Ali said that the Minerals Department had worked on the draft of the amendment act for one year, while he himself had visited seven tribal districts and had held consultations with tribal elders, politicians and other stakeholders.

The minister added that after ex-FATA’s merger with KP, the issue of mineral title grants and its renewal in the tribal districts had arisen.

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Dr Ali further said that according to the new act, priority rights were given to the local community, and the granting of mineral titles would be carried out keeping in view the existing culture and tradition of the tribal districts.

He added that the bill would help in giving a boost to the mineral sector in the tribal districts.

Dr Amjad Ali said that mineral title grants would be given only to the local community and if they lacked capital, they could enter into a joint venture with any investor.

Moreover, KP Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan said that the mineral titles in tribal districts would be given to any person belonging to the local community.

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