ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Stone Development Company (Pasdec) will establish three Marble Cities at Mohamand Agency (FATA), Risalpur and Loralai to facilitate processing with trained work force and latest processing machinery and infrastructure. Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Stone Development Company Ihsanullah Khan said this on Wednesday while speaking in an inaugural ceremony of All Pakistan Marble Industries Association (APMIA) Head Office. Talking about reserves of marble and granite, he said that Pakistan is blessed with huge reserves of natural stone like marble and granite in multiple colors and shades. He appreciated APMIA’s efforts in supporting PASDEC at times when it was needed. The APMIA is the true representative body of marble and granite stakeholders that is growing day by day, he said. Speaking about facilities being planned by the PASDEC, he said that two Common Facility Training centers (CFTCs) would also be established in near future aimed at increasing numbers of skilled workers. The Chief Executive said that by the efforts of APMIA and PASDEC the marble export quantum is increasing at 45 per cent annually. He hoped that$500 million export target would be achieved in near future.Unfortunately, marble and granite sector of Pakistan could not exploit these resources to boost its economic development during last sixty years of the country history, he said. Pakistan Stone Development Company has now introduced mechanized quarrying through state of the art machinery to develop the marble and granite sector on modern lines, Ihsanullah said.He made it clear that Pakistan Stone Development Company is not a profit making organization and dedicated to make Pakistan Marble Industry globally competitive and responsible player of the international dimensional stone industry. PASDEC is focused on achieving only one goal, extraction of “Square Blocks”. This strategy would have a trickle down effects through the value chain of the industry, achieving tremendous transformational impact, he added.He said that PASDEC has established 29 prototype projects of marble and granite in short span fulfilling its due commitment to the sector. “We established three Model Quarries at Khuzdar (Balochistan), Buner(KPK) and Chitral (KPK) and 10 Quarry Up-gradations in Balochistan, KhyberPakhtunkhawa, FATA, Sindh and Punjab, he said. The Quarrying projects and producing “Square Blocks” of marble, the mechanized quarrying practices will decrease the natural stone wastage ratio from 85 per cent to 40 per cent (Mine to processing). It will also discourage blasting practices of extraction of natural stone which is not only dangerous to human life but is adding to environmental degradation, he said.He said that PASDEC has also established two warehouses at Gaddani and Risalpur for storage of raw stone and finished products of marble and granite. While two machinery pool projects established at Gaddani and Risalpur are serving mine owners and leases holders to acquire modern quarrying machinery on nominal rental charges. Sikandar Hayat Khan Jogezai, Chairman of APMIA and ex-chairmen Shahid-ur-Rehman, Abdusami and Saleem Mughal also spoke on the occasion and expressed their confidence on PASDEC and lauded its performance in promoting marble industry of the country.