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PASDEC likely to conduct marble auction every 15 days

Updated:2009-03-24 16:43:34

Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) is considering holding open auction of its first extracted marble square blocks from its first model quarry at NAAL, Khuzdar (Balochistan) on fortnight basis.

"The stakeholders demanded to hold auction after every fifteen days instead of every month," chairman PASDEC, Ihsan Ullah Khan said Monday.

He said on first auction last Wednesday, despite heavy rain and storm in the area, many stakeholders and processors of marble and granite sector participated and showed their keen interest in the auction of marble square blocks.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Watto through his message said the country had rich reserves of marble and granite, which spread from Karachi to Siachen and Pakistan could earn huge foreign exchange through its export if exploited effectively. Marble and granite sector could play a vital role in national economy through export of raw material and value added products.

The government had determined to provide more facilities to the marble and granite exporters in future, he added.

The minister assured the participants that the ministry would recommend the marble mosaic and marble handicrafts in the duty free items list for enhancing its exports. Former chairman, All Pakistan Marble Mining Processing Industry and Exporters Association (APMMPIEA), Sanaullah Khan said, "around $100,000 earnings will be fetched on every auction as nearly 1000 tonne of material of different grades is being extracted".

This was the first ever auction in the history of the country's marble and granite sector, held by the PASDEC.

The extracted marble square blocks were the result of the PASDEC's efforts to transform the marble and granite sector of Pakistan into a globally competitive industry, he said. He said the stakeholders termed the auction as a landmark achievement and hoped that it would prove to be a milestone in the future development of the sector and result in the growth of national economy.

The marble sector export stood at $19.9 million during July-February 2009, registered an increase of around $8 million as compared to the same period last year.

He said Sweden has shown their keen interest to import black granite from Pakistan, which has reserves of first-rate black granite in the world.

Dr Ellen Lau, managing director cable group, Hong Kong pointed out that the Hong Kong construction sector has a huge capacity of consuming Pakistan marble and granite products.

He said Hong Kong intends to import the marble and granite products to meet her fast growing construction sector requirements

He said Italian investors also showed great interest in Pakistan's marble and stone sector as an Italian team was also present at the auction site.

The country will cross $60 million export of all kind of marble products during 2009-10 on construction boom in Middle East and increase in International demand, Sanaullah Khan said.

He said around $260 billion in new cities from the desert in Saudi Arabia to start by year-end and they are interested in Pakistan's fine marble. "Export to Dubai and other Middle East countries including Saudi Arab increased manifold as compared to export to USA and European nations during last three months," Khan said. "This is due to 200 percent increase in demand besides prompt and early shipment of container service to Middle East countries", he added.

Demand from India alone is around more than one million dollar every month as India posses granite but not marble.

Global trade in marble and granite is estimated at $42 billion annually.

The industry growth rate over the last 3 years has averaged 30 percent, primarily on account of reconstruction activities in Middle East and Afghanistan.

Under vision 2016 the number of industrial units would be increased upto 5000. Mining and quarry contribute nearly 0.6 percent to Pakistan's Gross Domestic Products (GDP) with an estimated value addition of Rs 16 billion.



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