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25 February 2020

Ban on precious stones’ movement, trade resented

PESHAWAR: The All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association (APCEA) has expressed concern over the restriction on the movement of precious stones and its trade from Gilgit-Baltistan to other areas and demanded its immediate withdrawal.

 Speaking at a news conference on Monday, APCEA Chairman Atif Rasheed Khawaja said the chief secretary and industries secretary had issued a notification on January 11 imposing ban on movement of precious stones and its trade to other areas of the country.  He said about 90 per cent export of precious stones mined in the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan was legally carried out to different parts of the country and earned huge foreign exchange every year. He said the ban on the movement precious stones was illogical and asked the federal and Gilgit-Baltistan governments to immediately withdraw the decision. 

 Shafi Mohammad, chairman of Pakistan Gems & Mineral Association, said the poor workers of Gilgit-Baltistan had been affected by the ban and the traders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could also suffer as a result of the decision.  He said the transportation of precious stones to different parts of country and export to rest of the world was carried out via Peshawar.  “Illegal mining needs to be discouraged, but it is wrong to impose ban on the movement of precious stones. We have opposed one-year restriction on lease and now this ban has been imposed,” he argued. Shafi Mohammad said if the governments did not withdraw the decision, they would move the court against it.  Source: The News International