Precious Stones Are Being Exported to Thailand for Cheap

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production was held with Senator Khalida Ateeb in the chair today, where committee members discussed issues in the cheap export of Pakistani precious stones and the operational status of the country’s steel mills.

A representative of the Gems and Jewelry Manufacturers and Exporters Association (GMPG) Alamgir Chaudhary briefed the committee that Pakistani precious stones were being sold to Thailand at cheap rates, only to be cut and resold for substantially higher amounts.

Chaudhry lamented the stark comparison between Thailand’s gems and jewelry exports, which exceed $8 billion, and Sri Lanka’s $300 million exports in the same sector, while Pakistan’s exports were relatively cheaper.

Compared with India’s annual gem and jewelry exports of $40 billion, Pakistan’s average annual exports amount to $6 million

Another pressing issue discussed during the session involved the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), where clerics have been dismissed from mosques, sparking concerns among senators. Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman raised the issue of unpaid salaries, revealing a backlog of Rs. 3.3 million.

Overall, Secretary of Industries and Production noted PSM’s burden on the federal government due to continued financial support. Concerns were raised by committee members over the state-run entity’s dwindling workforce and zero chance of rehabilitating PSM employees given the country’s economic constraints.

Amidst these challenges, the Secretary lamented the inevitable closure of operational plants, including those running on gas due to escalating costs.

On a separate note, committee members sought clarifications on the categorization of the real estate sector as an industry.

The meeting was attended by Senator Abdul Qadir, Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Atta ur Rehman, and Senator Fida Muhammad. Representatives of attached departments were also in attendance.

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