LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ensure growth of marble and stone industry on sustainable basis.
PASDEC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zahid Maqsood Sheikh and LCCI Acting President Nasir Hameed Khan inked the MoU in the presence of Provincial Minister for Mines & Minerals Chaudhry Sher Ali and Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Marble Industry Chaudhry Khadim Hussain. Secretary Mines & Minerals Dr Muhammad Arshad, Executive Committee Member Zeeshan Khalil and Mehboob Sirki also spoke on the occasion.
Provincial minister said that efforts were afoot for development of mines and minerals sector of Punjab and special attention was being given to technological advancement and old techniques were being replaced with new ones. He said that mining sector was being developed in consultation with stakeholders as its efficiency was need of the hour. He said that the MoU between the LCCI and PASDEC should be translated into an agreement.
LCCI Acting President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that Pakistan was one of the top mineral extractors of marble and granite in the world. He said that despite having huge deposits, country’s exports of marble and marble products were not up-to-the-mark.
He said that the government should remove the constraints faced by marble and stone industry to ensure sharp increase in its exports. He said that major obstacles hindering the growth of mining industry were dearth of value addition, outdated quarrying techniques, latest technology and lack of infrastructures etc, that must be paid heed by the authorities concerned. He said that the MOU between the LCCI and PASDEC would certainly help develop this important industry.
Zahid Maqsood Sheikh said that collaboration between the two organisations would help develop marble and granite sector in Punjab.
He said that the PASDEC would provide complete resources with technical assistance, if the investors/business community was prepared to come forward on production side for boosting the exports of marble and granite.
Convener of LCCI Standing Committee on Marble, Chaudhry Khadim Hussain said that Pakistan was blessed with finest quality of marble but lack of modern technologies for cutting, finishing and grading was hindering its growth.
He said that Italy had the best technologies for promotion of marble sector while Italian businessmen were also keen to start joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts that would also help transfer technology. He said that these measures could enure value addition of marble that would help earning precious foreign exchange.