PASDEC chairman agrees to industrialists’ demand of setting up Marble City in Islamabad to improve export of marble products
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) organised a meeting between Pakistan Stones Development Company (PASDEC) and All Pakistan Marble Industries Association (APMIA) to discuss issues of marble industry and develop consensus for resolving them.
Addressing the meeting, ICCI Acting President M Shakeel Munir said that Pakistan has enormous potential to promote exports of marble products as it possesses huge marble and granite reserves of around 350 million tonnes and 64 varieties of marble and granite stones.
He said that the global market for marble and granite was estimated at around $62 billion, but Pakistan’s share was below one percent, which should be a cause of concern for the policymakers.
He said that with the support of government, marble industry has the potential to become the backbone of the economy and promote more exports than the share of textile products and urged that government should address marble industry issues on priority.
He said that the government should support marble industry in adopting latest mining and processing technologies and setting up model quarries, provide easy credit facility to marble industrialists, ensure regular power supply and provide better incentives to investors to promote marble exports across the world.
All Pakistan Marble Industries Association Acting Chairman Muhammad Arif Butt highlighted the major problems of marble industry.
He said the high electricity cost, use of obsolete mining techniques, lack of financing facility and processing units, law and order issues in major mining areas, inconsistent power supply, insufficient infrastructure from mines to ports, lack of value addition, improper transportation facilities and supply chain problems etc were the major hurdles that were holding back this industry from full growth potential and PASDEC should play its positive role in redressing these problems.
He said PASDEC was set up to promote mechanised mining but has failed to play its effective role for the development of marble industry.
He said PASDEC should set up Marble City in the federal capital and establish more Common Facility and Training Centers (CFTCs) in the country and cooperate in better marketing of marble products to achieve better results. He said PASDEC should take marble industrialists on board in policymaking process to make policies that could boost this industry.
Speaking at the occasion, PASDEC Chairman Agha Shahid N Khan assured that committees comprising representatives of PASDEC and APMIA will be formed to address the issues of marble industry with joint efforts.
He said PASDEC was providing on affordable rent the machinery on first come first serve basis to improve marble production. He said the matter for reactivation of Dargai Railway Station and some others in Balochistan has been taken up with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to provide affordable cargo service to marble industrialists.
He said Marble City will also be established in Rawalpindi region in collaboration with Punjab Government to improve exports of marble products.