LAHORE - Marble and granite industry of Pakistan can be transformed into a cutting-edge stone industry by adopting Chinese quarrying techniques.

This was observed by SM Naveed, President Pak China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during a meeting with Wang Zihai, Chairman PCJCCI China affairs. He pointed out that export quantum of marble and granite can be increased manyfolds by establishing marble industrial parks in collaboration with China under CPEC to effectively utilize the valuable marble reserves of the country.

S.M. Naveed said that industrial parks will bring the cost-effective cutting, blasting and finishing technology in Pakistan that will enhance the competitive edge of the industry.

 He told that all provinces in Pakistan had huge deposits of ornamental stones. Balochistan has rich confirmed deposits of marble and granite in Khuzdar, Loralai, Lasbela and Chaghi districts, whereas, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Malakand, Mardan, Hazara, Peshawar, and Kohat are the high-potential areas where quarrying and mining are already taking place, he added.

Identifying the major factors hindering the growth of marble industry in the country, he said the lack of quality production, the inconsistent supply of raw material and scarcity of the modern technology were the factors, which needed government attention.

 He suggested strengthening Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC) to fill in the missing chains in marble industry. He told that the extraction in Pakistan mainly comprises boring of holes in the bedrock, filled with explosives to blast the block, resulting not only in high wastage but also in smaller sized stone, substantially reducing the price.