Jaipur Stone industry must invest in R&D to boost output: CM

7 countries, 17 states to take part in Stonemart  from Jaipur: More than 25,000 trade visitors are expected to visit the country’s leading exhibition of stone industry which will see participation from seven countries like Turkey, China, Italy, Brazil, Iran, Spain and Taiwan. From India, 17 states will be participating with pavilions from Gujarat, Odisha and Jharkhand. The four-day event that starts from Thursday will showcase natural dimensional stones, ancillary products and services. Organised by Centre for Development of Stones (CDOS), RIICO and FICCI, the event will bring together various stakeholders of the stone industry including producers, exporters and importers, consumers and buyers, experts, technology providers, architects, builders, developers, corporates, RIICO and FICCI among others under a single umbrella. Over 484 exhibitors from across the globe (350 Indian and 134 overseas) will be putting up their stalls at the mart this year. Like its previous editions, a two-day architecture festival will be held for generating new ideas. CDOS is also setting up a ‘Shilpgram’ at the event which will host stone artisans to showcase and demonstrate their art. 31 stone artisans from all over India are expected to showcase their skills and products.

Jaipur: The state government will bring new policy for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that the mining units can do their own work without being in clash with the environment department as the rules will be clearly spelt out, chief minister Ashok Gehlot said here on Thursday inaugurating the 10th edition of stonemart. He said technology in mining has improved over the years helping the industry produce export-quality stones but the need of the hour is to further invest in research and development so that resources can be used efficiently to increase output and grow business.“Around 20-30 years ago, there was huge wastage of stone in the mining process. However, over the years due to adoption of modern technology, the wastage has drastically reduced. This has helped combat major environmental challenges caused by the stone industry. Stone exports have also increased due to value addition and architectural reinvention,” he added.He said the mining industry employs 10 lakh people in Rajasthan which is rich in minerals and commodities like gold, silver and potash are available in huge quantities in the state but remains unexplored so far.Stonemart is the largest exhibition of stone industry in the country organized by Centre for Development of Stones, FICCI and RIICO. This year seven countries like Turkey, China, Italy, Brazil, Iran, Spain and Taiwan and 16 states from India are participating the event.Speaking at the event, industries minister Parsadi Lal Meena said that modern technology should be adopted to reduce occupational hazards of the workers. “Employment opportunities for the local labour force as well as their health and security
should be given priority,” added Meena. Stone industry is not only labor-intensive but also engages a large number of artisans. Putting this industry under 18% tax bracket has disappointed the investors. Ashok Kumar Dhoot, vice-chairman, CDOS, appealed the chief minister that the current GST of 18% in the stone industry should be reduced. He also suggested that the government should set up a separate Export Promotion Council for Stones.
The inaugural session was also addressed by chief secretary DB Gupta, RIICO chairman Kuldeep Ranka in the presence of top officials like economic advisor to CM Arvind Mayaram, advisor to CM Govind Sharma; additional chief secretary, industries,Subodh Agarwal; managing director of RIICO Gaurav Goyal; secretary general of FICCI Dilip Chenoy and CEO of CDOS MukulRastogi.

Source: The Times of India

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