The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mines and Mineral Development department has increased its revenue collection by more than 150 per cent over the past two years.
According to documents available with Dawn the mines and minerals department in 2018-19 had collected Rs2.1 billion, however, in 2019-20 its revenue collection soared to Rs3.2 billion and it touched Rs5.2 billion in the last fiscal.
“This is an increase of over 150 per cent over a period of two years,” an official told Dawn. The official said that during the same period, the department issued 2,082 leases across the province, which was almost equal to the all leases issued since the inception of the department till 2018.
The official said the reason for the increase in the number of leases stemmed from the regularisation of illegal mining and facilitating the lease holders.
All efforts have been made to resolve the issues being faced by the lease holders, the official said, adding the incumbent administration of the mines and minerals department has disposed of 371 cases in the last two years while the number of resolved issues was 294 till 2018 since the establishment of the department.
He said the department has also enacted and amended several of its laws, regulations and rules including KP Mines and Mineral Act 2017, KP Mines Safety Inspection and Regulation Act 2019 and KP Excise Duty on Mineral (Labour Welfare Act) 2019.
The official said that the department has achieved record revenue increase in a situation where it has neither provided facilities nor manpower.
The official said the mines department had its formation at district level and it should have an assistant director to lead the district set up of the province, however, due to shortage of staff, one assistant director was supervising three to four districts.
The department has installed mining cadastral system, which the official claims, is the first ever in the country which has helped a lot for the people interested in mine leases. All the information and procedure required for taking mines of precious and semi-precious stones on lease were available on the mining cadastral system.
It also shows the status of any of the mines whether the lease is operational or suspended, the official says. He further said that this system also showed that how which mine was generating how much revenue for the provincial kitty.
The mining cadastral system also has all the information about the royalty share of the locals of the area where the mines are located.