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FPCCI condemns decision to put ban on mineral exports by Senate standing committee

Imran Zakir

KARACHI: Senior Vice President FPCCI, has strongly opposed the proposed ban on raw minerals and marble exports as approved by the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce in a press conference on Tuesday held at FPCCI head office, here at Karachi.
Addressing in the press conference he said that it’s an immature decision which is also opposed by Secretary Commerce, Saleh Farooqui. This decision disheartened the business community and it will hinder foreign investment.
Ban includes on both metallic and non-metallic minerals. This is contradictory to the vision of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which has made mines and minerals as one of their only five focus areas, he added.
Atif Ikram Sheikh connected via video link joined the Press conference from Islamabad office and said that Pakistan can easily reach a level of $10 billion in exports in minerals and marble, if a facilitative and incentivizing regime for the sector is introduced.
Furthermore, the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce should have consulted the business community before proposing the aforementioned ban as the consultative process can help avoid discontentment with the governmental policies and direction.
Prominent Exporter and VP Mines & Minerals Association, Bilal Khan said that it will discourage exports of raw minerals and marble – which employs hundreds of thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workers, including those from rural areas where other sources of employment are scarce.
He said that if the Government is looking for Value addition then gives a policy framework to set up basic infrastructure, manufacturing facilities with a deadline of 2-3 years. The mines and minerals sector should be given status as an industry to help facilitate provision of incentives & policy interventions through federal and provincial budgets & policy making.
Shakeel Munir, former President Islamabad Chambers of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), said that the proposed ban has come as a shock to the business community as it was bolstered by SIFC initiatives and was gearing to bring FDI, JVs and industrial collaborations to Pakistan in mines & minerals sector.
Moreover ,some Mines and Minerals sector businessmen including Sanaullah Khan, Shabbir Ahmed, Adnan Gogil, Sher Ahmed Khanzada and others urged for the Bank financing, subsidised electricity rates and efficient lease providing mechanism without undertable practices.

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