ICCI calls for resolving issues of marble sector to promote exports
ISLAMABAD - Muhammad Shakeel Munir, president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has said that Pakistan has great potential to earn billions of dollars by promoting the marble sector exports.
He urged the government to take necessary steps to address the key issues of this sector to harness its actual potential for improving the economy.
He expressed these views after administering oath to the newly elected office bearers of All Pakistan Marble Industries Association (APMIA) as chief guest.
Shabbir Ahmed was sworn in as chairman, Sattar Hussain Shah senior vice chairman, Farooq Hameed Bhatti vice chairman (North) and Jamshed Khan Amazai vice chairman (South) of All Pakistan Marble Industries Association for the year 2021-22. All the candidates were elected unopposed.
Shakeel Munir said that Pakistan has vast reserves of marble and granite, but due to the lack of modern technology and machinery, the country could harness its true potential for economic development.
He said that extraction of marble and granite by non-mechanized methods was wasting almost 70% of the precious stone and stressed for allowing duty free import of marble sector technology and machinery to help this sector to produce value added marble products and boost exports.
He said that the high electricity tariff for the marble sector is affecting its growth and urged that the government to either provide subsidies on electricity or provide tax exemptions on electricity bills of the marble industry.
ICCI president said that the ocean freight cost for marble exporters has increased manifold and the government should provide volume-based freight subsidy or rebate to marble exporters to ease their problems.
He said the government will also provide financial support to marble exporters for participation in international trade fairs which would significantly improve our exports.
He said that marble products should be included in the preferential trade agreements.
He said that every investor should be given the legal right of quarry as at present the quarries are leased to those who do not work themselves, rather they give quarries on contract to investors. Giving legal rights to investors would yield more beneficial results for this sector.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir congratulated the newly office bearers of All Pakistan Marble Industries Association and hoped that they would play an effective role in the development of the marble sector.
He assured that the ICCI would extend all possible cooperation to the Association in its efforts to resolve the key issues of the marble sector business community.