Lahore, March 15, 2016 (PPI-OT): Lack of modern technology is coming in the way of unearthing vast natural resources that could change the fate of Pakistan. Government should focus this particular area and take private sector on board which could play instrumental role in transfer of technology.
In a statement issued here Tuesday, the LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed said that Pakistan is blessed with huge mineral resources but we could not avail significant benefit due to lack of modern technology and proper policy.
The LCCI office-bearers said that we need to concentrate on improving our skill of excavation and mining in order to take advantage of these blessings. He said that in the absence of local technology, foreign countries jump in and play havoc with natural resources forcing neo-colonial treaties.
They said that multinational companies take from 70 to 80% of mine resource value as cost of mining. They said that local technology must therefore be developed on priority basis through Chinese collaboration which is already excavating copper from Afghanistan and coal from its own territory. With countries like China, transfer of technology in mining must take place at rapid pace.
They said that out of total employed labour force, manufacturing and mining accounted for 13.11% labour while mining alone accounts for only 2.5% employed labour. They said that mining sector of the country could become the core and the hub of providing new job opportunities. Though there are several mineral resources available, we need to concentrate on the excavation of coal and copper. They said that the worth of the two resources combined together is more than $ 11 trillion in international market.
The LCCI office-bearers said that the coal available can be sufficient for 5 decades while fulfilling all our energy needs. As an example for generating 8000 MW power generation by the end of 2020, a total of 38.5 million tons of coal excavation is required per year. At current price, this size of excavation will be worth $ 2.5 billion in international market. They said that modern technology and trained human resources are a must to complete this gigantic task.
They suggested that manpower for copper and coal should be trained in technical and vocational institutes located within the vicinity of villages near mining operations. They said that this is particularly important to enhance employment opportunities for local inhabitants. Moreover, they said, refining factories should be placed in these areas for copper, coal and iron.
They said that coal and copper mining has every potential to have a further addition of $ 5 billion industry while copper and iron refining industries can easily accounts for another $ 3 billion, this has the potential to generate a total of around 5 million new job opportunities i.e., roughly 0.25 million jobs every year. The LCCI office-bearers urged the government to take concrete measure for transfer of modern technology in mine and mineral sector that would help Pakistan get full advantage of the God-gifted natural resources.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan