Staff Reporter Peshawar
The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has decided to establish a Gemstone Laboratory, Technical Training and Certification Center in the province.
A meeting of the Mineral Investment Facilitation Authority (MIFA) held here with the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Monday has accorded approval in principle to have a joint venture with the private sector companies for establishing the aforesaid Gemstone Laboratory, Technical Trainings and Certification Center with the aim to have technical and professional expertise for processing the raw form of gemstones and to develop them into refined branded product to be introduced in international markets.
The center cum laboratory would be established at the existing building of Mineral Testing Laboratory, Hayatabad, Peshawar.
The center, after establishment, would provide international level training for processing the gemstones as well as internationally recognized certification facility for gemstones products.
The private companies to be engaged by the mineral department for joint venture will provide machinery and trained human resource for the center.
The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister Akbar Ayub, Special Assistant to CM for Mines & Minerals Arif Ahmad Zai, Administrative Secretaries of concerned departments, Vice Chairman Board of Investment & Trade and other concerned authorities attended the meeting.
The forum discussed the matters related to mining activities in the areas notified as Guzara Forests and after a threadbare discussion on the matter, it decided to constitute a committee to be headed by the additional Chief Secretary which will look into the matter and come up with solid proposals within a month for controlled mining activities in Guzara forests.
Administrative secretaries of mineral, forest, law and tourism departments would be the members of the committee.
Talking on this occasion, the Chief Minister stated that it was one of the top most priority areas of the incumbent government to protect the forest and increase the forest cover to the maximum level, however, he also underlined the need of utilizing the mineral resources of the province without causing any harm to forest.
He, therefore, directed the quarters concerned to adopt a realistic and balanced approach for the protection of forest areas and exploration of mineral resources.