PCJCCI keen to add value to Marble Industry

Lahore, July 14, 2022 (PPI-OT):Mr. Wang Zihai, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) said that Pakistan has great potential to earn millions of dollars from exports of marble products and the government should address issues of the sector to harness its potential. A meeting was conducted at PCJCCI premises today for reviewing ways and means to resolve the issues to be confronted by marble industry.

Mr. Wang Zihai, President PCJCCI said that, the government should pay special attention to the development of the marble and granite industry because this could be the way to rapid recovery of the economy by increasing the country’s exports. Pakistan is the 6th largest mineral extractor of marble and granite and has a place on world mining map. Pakistan has enormous potential to promote exports of marble products as it possess huge marble and granite reserves of around 350 million tones and 64 varieties of marble and granite stones, he added.

He further said that currently 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 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, whose exports can well go up to over $200 million per year, if some inducements are provided to marble sector, specifically in the field of value-addition.

Mr. Ehsan Choudhry, Senior Vice President PCJCCI said that 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.

He also added that we should facilitate investors to overcome power shortages; the erratic power crisis is a gigantic obstacle in attracting investments. Most of the existing dimension-stone processing units have been compelled to work on 5pc of installed capacity due to hours of load-shedding. For instance, to meet the industrial power needs, investors must be encouraged to install and maintain their own coal-power plants. Taxes and duties can be lifted or at least relaxed for importing power plants and spare parts etc.

Mr. Sarfaraz Butt, Vice President PCJCCI said that marble miners should stop method of blasting and get the latest machinery on rental basis for extracting marble. The standard wastage in the world is 45 percent for the marble sector; he said adding that in Pakistan blasting technique was destroying 85 percent marble in mining. He said that with the use of technology and innovation we can even utilize the marble powder for building blocks.

Mr. Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI said while expressing views that China is the major importer of Pakistani marble with a share of almost 85%. He said that China is enthusiastically interested in local marbles and establishing joint ventures with Pakistani marble exporters but have been demoralized due to some security reasons and deteriorating law and order situation. He suggested the setting up of a marble city in the federal capital and establishment of more Common Facility and Training Centers (CFTCs) in the country with the collaboration of China.

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