Gilgit, July 8: (PR) Terming a newly proposed legislation, “GB Mining Concessions Rules 2014”, a “serious joke”, the Gilgit-Baltistan Metals, Minerals and Gems Association (GBMMGA) has expressed reservations over the bill drafted by the Gilgit-Baltistan Council. The reservations have been documented in a 6-page long resolution sent to the Prime Minister, members of Gilgit-Baltistan Council and other key officials. The resolution was passed at a meeting held today under the leadership of Advocate Shahbaz Khan, who is the Chairmausn of GBMMGA.
The MCR 2014 has also been termed as a law repugnant to the spirit of devolution, decentralization and democratization elsewhere in Pakistan.
The proposed law does not ensure preferential status for the local entrepreneurs. The powers of the Gilgit-Baltistan govt have been decreased and more power has been vested in the Islamabad based GB Council, says the resolution. The Secretary of the GB Council has been made the Licensing Authority The participants of the meeting have also said that the law is not entirely different from similar legislation passed in Africa and Latin America, to allow Multi-National Corporations the liberty to plunder the indigenous peoples’ resources.
The resolution also maintains that the aforementioned law fails to protect ownership rights of the local people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
They have also expressed surprise at the suggestions that ordinary sand and gravel should also be used after getting a license from the GB Council’s Secretary.
” The Gilgit Baltistan Metals & Minerals Association (GBMMGA) is of the considered opinion that such kinds of “colonial approach” towards region of Gilgit Baltistan and its people even in this 21st century is not only an attempt of usurping of powers of local authorities of Government of Gilgit Baltistan but also a deliberate attempt to deprive the local people from their fundamental rights to utilize their natural resources as owners enjoying since centuries under customary laws and traditions”, reads the resolution.
The complete resolution can be downloaded by clicking GBMMGA Resolution regarding Draft Concession Rules (PDF)