Marble sector wants soft loans

SOURCEThe Nation
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PESHAWAR: Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) organised one-day workshop for the stakeholders of marble and granite sector. The workshop, organised under Research/Feasibility Study on Cluster Based Mineral Sector Transformation Plan, discusses the issues faced by the marble and granite sector of KP/FATA and the required interventions.

Planning Commission of Pakistan Project Director Riaz Ahmed Sahito chaired the proceedings of workshop. 26 businessmen from mining, processing and trading sector participated in the workshop. During the workshop the participants were briefed in detailed about the project.

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The participants included Zulkifal Khan (Director, Directorate of Mine and Minerals, (KP), Sherbandi Khan (President, Frontier Mine Owners Association),  Arshad Iqbal (General Secretary Buner Marble Association), Himmat Shah (General Secretary, Warsak Road Marble Association), Humayun Khan (Ex Manager, FATA Development Authority) and Engineer Mehtab of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR).

Addressing the participants, Smeda General Manager Out-Reach (GMOR) Javed Iqbal expressed gratitude to the Marble Associations of KP and FATA for their continued cooperation throughout the survey. He formally requested the audience to share their valued inputs.

The workshop observed keen participation by all stakeholders while discussing the issues and required interventions for the Marble and Granite Sector of KP/FATA.

The mine owners emphasized upon the reserve estimation, provision of the basic infrastructure especially the mine access roads, water and electricity. They said that the participation of mine owners in policy formulation and environment conservation is equally important.

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The marble processors suggested establishment of industrial estates with one-window operations to overcome the issues of electric power outages, and pollution. The concern of the marble and granite traders and the public sector representatives were mainly about the formulation of efficient marketing system to increase the sector’s contribution to GDP by increased exports and domestic earning.

The interventions demanded by all stakeholders in common are the availability of the loans, skilled labour and technology up-gradation.

(This news/article originally appeared in The Nation on August 30th, 2018)

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