Rock salt policy

Saturday, Mar 18, 2023

The caretaker government in Punjab is seemingly not aware of its responsibilities and the powers assigned to it under the constitution. Various decisions have been taken by the caretaker government recently that are not within its mandate or purview, some of these having been rescinded by the judiciary already. The latest in the series is the cancellation of as many as 56 companies’ salt mining licenses. Apparently, the licences, issued during the previous government’s tenure, were against rules and regulations.

This decision will cause disruption in the normal salt mining activities, adversely impacting employment and socio-economic development of the area, which is certainly not in the national interest at this juncture of economic recession. Also, the affected entrepreneurs could go to the courts seeking relief, preventing the cancellation of licenses. The cabinet has also approved a revised Rock Salt Policy of Punjab. Issuing such long-term policy is, arguably, beyond the remit of a caretaker government which does not have the people’s mandate.

Hussain Siddiqui