Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mohsin Industries on verge of closure

Mohsin Industries, the gemstone mining firm operating in Gilgit Baltistan, is on verge of closure following a tremendous uproar in the legislature about its licensing, national news portal claimed, citing an undisclosed source, on Thursday.

The source further revealed that several employees, including some of its senior most management will be laid off in upcoming days.

The anonymous source said, “There is a high chance that the company may pack up in the near future.”

In June 2011, Mohsin Industries was granted a gemstone mining licence by the Gilgit-Baltistan government. This action caused uproar in the province’s Legislative Assembly since the legislature had already banned the provincial government from issuing new licences.

In a resolution passed by the assembly, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah was accused of “secretly” and illegally granting the licence to Mohsin Industries. The chief minister has insisted that the licence was granted by the federal government and that he had nothing to do with it.

Several members of the province’s Metals, Minerals and Gems Association have been opposed to the manner in which Mohsin Industries was granted its licence and have threatened to protest against the government, if those mining rights are not withdrawn.

Mohsin Industries is owned by Wang Zunyu, a Hong Kong national who moved to Gilgit-Baltistan three years ago to start a gemstone mining company. Wang had converted to Islam and taken the name of Mohsin. He owns a company known as Bao-Billion Mining Group, of which Mohsin Industries is a Pakistani affiliate.

Wang had hired hundreds of locals for the company and recruited a man named Abid Baig, an influential local resident, as the president. Baig was reported to have been passionate in allowing a company owned by a foreign national to mine gemstones in Gilgit-Baltistan since he said it would provide job opportunities to local people.

Sources familiar with the situation say that the company has laid of dozens of employees and even Baig is reported to have left the company after a falling out with the owner of the company. News Pakistan

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