TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Officials say thousands of workers have been rendered jobless as a result of the suspension of gold mining in northern Takhar province.
Extraction firm officials believe rising unemployment is one of the reasons for the soaring crime graph, including armed robberies, in the country.
They want the government to resume the extraction of gold in Takhar, a process that will help generate jobs opportunities for people.
Habibur Rahman, an extraction company official, said: “The government ordered a halt to gold mining six months back on the pretext of preparing new regulations.
“Thousands of workers from many provinces have since been left jobless and facing problems in supporting their families.”
As the ban on gold extraction continued in the province, the official revealed, the fate of about 100,000 workers hung in the balance.
The state of uncertainty among miners had led to an increase in crimes, he claimed, urging the government to resume gold mining in the province.
Due to the suspension of extraction work, the official complained, his gold mining firm had also run into financial losses.
Meanwhile, some provincial officials said unprofessional mining was one of the reasons for halting gold mining in Takhar. Once the issue was resolved, they promised, gold extraction works would resume.
Mines and Petroleum Director Maulvi Abdul Nasir Haqqani told Pajhwok Afghan News: “We received an order from the ministry about seven months ago to stop unprofessional mining until a new regulation is prepared. Thousands of workers have since been left unemployed.”
Haqqani assured the mining companies which had signed contracts with the government would be allowed soon to restart mining work.
Maulvi Abdullah Nomani, chief of the coordination department at MoMP, said on his trip to Takhar: “At the head of a delegation, I’m here to evaluate the problems of mines and workers and to address them in accordance with the relevant rules.”
The companies having no contracts with the ministry or lacking the required skills would be prevented from illegal mining, he warned.
Takhar is a province blessed with mineral wealth, with most of its mines located in Chah Aab, Rustaq, Kalafgan and Khwaja Ghar districts, as well as Taloqan. Some elements are still attempting to illegally mine gold in these areas.
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