ISLAMABAD - The Council of Common Interests (CCI) is likely to give approval to National Mineral Policy-2012, sent by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP& NR), in its meeting on Wednesday (today).Well-placed sources aware of the development informed TheNation that the MP&NR, right after 17 years, had finally prepared National Mineral Policy 2012 which is likely to be approved along with Petroleum Policy 2012 by the CCI in its meeting. They said it had been decided to increase the share of royalty by 12 per cent in National Mineral Policy 2012. Similarly, a decision of increase in royalty by 5 per cent has been taken on the discovery of gold and precious stones while two per cent increase in the royalty of precious metal had also been taken in the policy. It has also been decided to give boost to the share of royalty on basic metals by 3 per cent while 1 percent increase in the royalty of coal. They said only Pakistanis would be granted permission for small-scale mining. However, the control of offshore and Azad Jammu Kashmir’ mine reserves along with the mine reserves of Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Gilgat Baltistan’s mineral reserves would be in the hands of federal government of Pakistan. Sources further told that in accordance with the policy, Mineral Investment Facilitation Authorities (MIFAs) are to be established at both federal and provincial level. At the provincial level, these will be mandatory bodies as provided for in the Provincial Mining Concession Rules.Available copy of draft of national Mineral Policy-2012 with this scribe disclosed that in a bid to enhance the contribution of the mineral sector to the GDP by efficient and sustainable development of mineral resources through private sector investment for the benefit of the people of Pakistan, the National Mineral Policy aimed to achieve enhancement and sustenance of revenue flow to the provincial and federal governments.About the constitutional position on minerals, the policy said minerals other than oil, gas and nuclear minerals and those occurring in special areas (FATA, Giligit-Biltistan, AJK and ICT) are a provincial subject under the Constitution. Provincial governments/federating units are responsible for regulation, detailed exploration, mineral development and safety concerns in these operations, whereas geological/geophysical survey and mapping, mineral identification, regional exploration, national and international coordination and formulation of national polices and plans are federal responsibilities. In line with this constitutional framework, the federal and provincial governments jointly endorse this policy, which provides for appropriate institutional arrangements, a modern regulatory framework, internationally competitive fiscal and regulatory regimes and a program to expand Pakistan’s geological database, adding,” The respective government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for the grant of mineral concessions/titles in respect of any mineral including those underlying the ocean within the territorial waters or the continental shelf of Pakistan”.However, the provisions of this Policy clearly provide that the continued focus of all activities and decision making will be at the provincial level while the federation would provide requisite support and advice to the provinces to take up the challenges of achieving sustainable benefits from the development of nonrenewable mineral resources. Similarly, all federating units of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan commit to the minerals ownership structure and legislation in Pakistan as defined in the constitution and this policy.The policy document further said that for achieving optimal benefits of mineral resources, the federal government in close cooperation with the provincial governments in particular and all other stakeholders in general stands committed to achieve substantial input to the mineral sector by providing an investment-friendly regulatory regime. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan makes it a policy objective to further and strengthen the capacity of the policy implementers to plan and implement the National Mineral Policy.