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Wednesday February 08, 2023

Modern technology in marble industry stressed

By Our Correspondent
November 30, 2022

LAHORE:Stone and marble sector has immense export potential and the business community should take advantage of this great untapped opportunity.

This was crux of the speeches delivered at an awareness session on Marble Industry, jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) for the benefit of hundreds of marble dealers of provincial metropolis.

CEO PASDEC Baber Mairaj Shami, LCCI President Kashif Anwar, Chairperson PASDEC Shamama tul Arbab, LCCI Executive Committee member Ch Khadim Hussain spoke on the occasion. A documentary of available opportunities in the stone sector was also shown to the participants.

Shamama said that PASDEC is a federal agency and it is reaching to the business community to highlight the potential of this sector. He said that the first awareness session is being held at LCCI with an aim to take guidance from the businessmen. She said that yet we are using old technology ‘blast’ to extract the marble, which causes irreparable damage to the marble. LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that the marble industry has immense export potential which needs to be exploited. He said that Pakistan has high quality marble and stones but both quality and quantity are lost to a great extent mainly due to old technology for grading, cutting, polishing and finishing. He added that Pakistan is prominent in the world for having green onyx, black granite, super white and other types of marble but most of these are being exported in raw form.

The LCCI president said that the govt should introduce a special policy for the development of this sector and provide financial support to the people attached with the stone and marble industry so that Pakistan can earn huge foreign exchange. He also called for value addition and use of modern technology.

CEO PASDEC Babar Miraj Shami said that the country is abundant with the resources of semi-precious gems, granite, onyx, marble and rock salt which is also known as Himalayan salt but unfortunately we are not using these resources properly as most of the part is being exported in raw form. Another reason is that no public-private investment has been made on modern machinery and technology. He said that we had an agreement with Italy regarding stone development but could not avail the opportunity because of red tapism. He said that now the govt seriously wants to develop this sector.

LCCI Member Ch Khadim Hussain said that exports are imperative for the survival of local businessmen as the imports are not viable for those who do not have sufficient exports. He said that at global level, Pakistan is known for blocks, not for the slabs. He said that blocks have very low value as compared to slabs.

He said that we do not have polishing and cutting facilities and we export marble in raw shape, which comes to Pakistan again after cutting and polishing through modern technology.

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