Marble, Granite sector exports: Government initiatives

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Marble, Granite sector exports: Government initiatives

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government has invested Rs. 1830 million to promote Marble and Granite sector and enhance its exports to earn precious foreign exchange for the country.

As part of its measures, 14 mechanized quarry projects have been initiated in the country for demonstration of latest quarrying techniques, wherein latest quarrying practices have been demonstrated and training has been provided to locals on use of latest quarrying techniques and technology.

Sources at Industries and Production Division on Sunday said after development of quarries on modern lines, the production capacity and quality of product will be increased manifolds.

The sources said two machinery pools have been established in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) respectively to provide latest quarry machinery on rental basis to quarry owners.

So far more than 50 quarry owners have been facilitated through latest rental machinery.

The sources said to attract investor and foster industrialization, dedicated marble cities are established with state-of-art infrastructure and in this regard Marble City Risalpur is near completion. Another marble city is developed at FATA, PASDEC role in the project is of a Management Consultant.

Regarding skill development, Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) has provided training to more than 600 quarry operators, mining engineers and geologists on use of latest quarry machinery and techniques.

In addition 1262 trainings have been provided to females on mosaic, inlay and handicraft making for value addition while using wastage.

The Company has also planned to establish four Common Facility Training Centres (CFTCs) to facilitate SME's with latest processing machinery on rental basis, which otherwise are not available in individual entrepreneurs.

The sources said development work on two CFTC is in progress at Gaddani and Risalpur. After the establishment of CFTC's quality and production capacity of processing industry will increase manifolds.

With regard to foreign loans/grants received by government for the said sector during the last ten years, the sources said USAID under a project named "FATA Lively Hood Development Programme (FDP-LD)" provided machinery worth Rs. 300 million for development of marble and granite in FATA.

The grant was provided to FATA Secretariat in shape of machinery. Machines so purchased were handed over to Pakistan Stone Development Company by FATA Secretariat.

The UASID under "FDP-LD" also funded Rs. 4.50 million for training of quarry workers of FATA. Under the project 30 trainees were provided training on use of latest quarrying technology and techniques by Pakistan Stone Development Company.

Moreover, UASID under "Jobs Project" funded Rs. 9 million for training of quarry workers of KPK. Under the project 180 trainees were provided training on use of latest quarrying technology and techniques.

World Bank through Multi donor Trust Fund provided machinery worth Rs.400 million for development of Marble and Granite sector of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2015.

Machinery so purchased is handed over to Pakistan Stone Development Company for renting out to the mine owners of KPK.

Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) funded project named "Creative Entrepreneurship for Women" worth Rs. 43.80 million, two training centers were established at Abbottabad and Islamabad. A total of 560 women were trained in one year on mosaic, inlay and handicraft making.

Women so trained are now capable to start their own business or get jobs in the sector.