Chief minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the four-day mega fair India Stone Mart 2019 at Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC) on Thursday.
The ‘India Stone Mart 2019’ comes to witness participation of exhibitors from 17 states of India and seven other countries. On the occasion CM while upholding the relevance of the industry in the state assured the gathering of all possible efforts for promotion of the trade.
“The stone industry extends employment to more than a million people in the state. There is need for further investment and research in the industry and the state government will be responsive to facilitate those venturing in the direction,” Gehlot said in his inaugural address.
In his last tenure the Single Window Act had been passed and marble as well as granite policies were formulated. He said that the Government will be responsive to entrepreneurs and industrialists in facilitating them to set up projects in the State.
Also present on the occasion, industry minister Parsadi Lal Meena invoked the industry towards innovation. Assuring support from the government he said that the use of modern technology should be made to reduce occupational hazards associated with the industry.
Stone mart is being organised by Centre for Development of Stones (CDOS) in association with state government departments and trade bodies and has more than 400 exhibitors participating from India and abroad. The chairman of CDOS and RIICO, Kuldeep Ranka held it as the largest stone exposition in the country.
Chief Secretary, DB Gupta said India has moved up to the 5th position in ranking of the most favoured nations for investment. The stone sector is an important area for investment. There is significant need to train the manpower of the stone sector with advanced technology in various stone clusters.
Meanwhile, stone trade representatives expressed need for reduction of Goods and Service Tax currently applicable at 18 per cent slab on the industry.
There was also a demand for establishment of a separate export promotion council for stones.
On the inaugural day, Stone Mart was also host to ‘All India Stone Architectural Awards’ (2018) at which the winners in four categories were felicitated by CM.
DIC To Be Revived
The CM has called for revival of District Industries Centres in the state. Talking to media on sidelines of Stone Mart, he said these centres established nearly 40 years ago are rendered almost non-functional over the past years and efforts will be made for their revival.