Modernisation can boost marble, granite exports by 250 percent: FPCCI

ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday said that Pakistan can earn huge foreign exchange by paying attention to the massive marble and granite reserves available in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh.
Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of marble and granite but its share in international trade is below two percent which can be increased substantially by paying some attention to this neglected sector, said Vice President FPCCI Qaisar Khan Daudzai.
In a statement issued here, Daudzai said that Pakistan has over 297 billion tonnes of these minerals while over 80 percent of the reserves are located in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal districts. The businessmen dealing in it are too much focused on mining through primitive methods wasting a sizable quantity and export of raw material fetching little money, he noted.
Daudzai said, “We are adding value to only ten percent of the marble and granite while other countries import it from Pakistan and then export it again to Pakistan and other countries after adding value to it.”
Pakistan is producing good quality marble and granite and it can earn huge foreign exchange while reducing unemployment by paying attention to this sector, he observed. He noted that the primitive method of mining results in wastage and poor quality of the stone which can be saved by adopting the latest techniques.
This sector is facing problems like law and order, energy crisis, high cost of electricity, poor road infrastructure, lack of loans, etc., which should be considered by policy-makers, he demanded.
The government can import the latest machinery from the US and Italy to provide them to mine operators on easy terms and conditions which will help it grab a larger share in the $45 billion global market. – TLTP

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