Federal Minister for Industry and Production, Syed Murtaza Mahmud on Thursday highlighted the importance of promoting marble exports, which are currently far behind their existing potential. Addressing a seminar on “Marble and Granite Sector Development on International Standards” the federal minister said currently the marble exports stand at $37 million, which should reach to at least $ 337 million.
The seminar was jointly organized by the Islamabad Chamber and Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC). He assured the business community that their issues related to marble and granite sector would be resolved.
The minister said, Pakistan possesses huge reserves of stones having rare colours
which make the country’s marble and granite one of the most promising sectors of economy. He said that majority of the export of this sector were in raw form so there was need to work for producing finishing products for domestic consumption and exports.
He was of the view that the country could not achieve sustainable growth because Small Medium Enterprises (SMES) was ignored over the years and respective governments had focused on Large Scale Manufacturing Industry (LSMI). Murtaza said that government would facilitate the private sector and work closely with it for promotion of this particular sector. Speaking on the occasion, President ICCI, Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that Pakistan has huge marble and granite deposits.
He said the monthly production has reached to 6000 ton per month however, there was excessive local demand that has been impeding exports. He said, there were around 2000 processing units working across the country, with every city having a marble factory, so we need to take productive measures to improve exports. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PASDEC, Babar Miraj Shami said around 75 stones were extracted from 1400 quarries adding that the stone extracted from the country has huge demand due to color, texture and quality.