The revolutionary steps for the betterment of mining sector have enabled government to collect a record revenue of more than Rs 10.19 billion for the fiscal year 2020-21.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that better utilization of mining resources will be ensured in Punjab. The Chief Minister said restrictions/limitations on the cement industry have been lifted/removed for the development of the construction sector and 22 NOCs are being issued for new cement factories. Usman Buzdar said that NOCs for the installation of 10 cement plants have so far been issued during the last three years while the process of issuing more NOCs for setting up of cement plants in Punjab is underway. These new cement factories will generate more job opportunities for millions of people and will result in uplifting and ensure economic development in the backward areas. Usman Buzdar further stated that the steps taken by the incumbent government for the development of salt and coal industries are yielding positive results. Punjab Mineral Development Corporation has collected revenue of Rs 1.64 billion. He said that 21 Rock Salt Exploration Licenses have been issued for the promotion of the salt industry. Production capacity has been increased with the launch of 4 coal and 8 salt mines. The ban on coal mining has been lifted and transparency has been ensured in the public auction of 20 blocks of coal. The Mineral Cadastral System has been introduced to provide timely information. The Chief Minister said that e-Fighting & Office Automation System has been implemented with the cooperation of PITB. Human Resource Management Information System has also been introduced in Mines & Minerals Department. Under 45th in-service training courses have already been started in the Mines & Minerals Department and 3000 workers have been provided professional training and for this purpose astate-of-the-art in-service training academy has been established in Punjab School of Mines Katas. Mine Sample Testing Laboratory Khushab is being restored besides providing there better facilities. New offices of Deputy Director Mines and Minerals have been set up at Khushab, and Mianwali.
The Chief Minister said that steps are being taken for ensuring welfare, betterment and safety of miners across the Punjab adding that the inspection system has been digitalized to ensure the safety of miners. A rescue squad has been set up at Sargodha Bridge 111 to deal with emergencies and untoward incident during mining. Scholarships for miners’ children have been increased by 300 per cent and Rs. 8 crore 50 lakh has been distributed among 5600 children of miners under this head. A special grant of Rs. 6,000 per month is being given to the disabled miners. A 10-bed Mines\ Labour Welfare Hospital has been set up in Makarwal, Mianwali. 6 Mines Labor Welfare Dispensaries are being also being set up in the remote areas for providing medical facilities to the miners. A mobile health unit has also been set up for the miners in Chakwal district. Three water supply schemes and RO plants are being set up in Basti Daher, Makarwala and Chowasidan Shah.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has welcomed the decision of the United Kingdom to remove Pakistan from the Red List. The Chief Minister said that the lifting travel ban on Pakistani by the UK is a good omen. This decision would provide immense relief to Pakistanis who are living abroad, especially in the UK. He termed UK an important friend and a trading partner of Pakistan. We appreciated the decision of the UK to remove Pakistan from the red list, he added.