Bengaluru, February 06, 2018: Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry (FIGSI) which was formerly known as All India Granite and Stone Association (AIGSA) is the only all India body for the Natural Stone Industry of the country. FIGSI has been striving for the betterment and addressing the challenges faced by the industry. The Federation has about 1200 members from all over the country.
The sole object of the Federation is to promote natural stone industry of India across the globe and to resolve the issues faced by the Natural Stone Industry.
India is a country which is endowed with high quality natural stones like granite, marble, sandstone, slate, limestone and quartzite etc that are widespread in every corner of the nation. India has more than 11% export share in total world’s stone trade. Indian share is more than 27% of the total stones produced throughout the world. India is recognized as one of the largest dimensional block producer in the world . Indian slabs, tiles, and monuments are supplied to more than 80 countries . Presently, stone industry is recognized as one of the fastest growing mineral industry in boosting the Indian economy.
Federation has been well recognized by all the state governments and central governments as the only national body to promote the Natural stone Industry. FIGSI is also member of various committees formed by the central and state governments.
Achievements of the Federation:
- Formation of Granite Development council by Government of India
- Formation of Group on Marble development by Government of India
- The Granite conservation and Development rules 1999 for Granite development was framed by Central Government for the entire country.
- The marble conservation and development rules was framed for the development of Marble trade in India
- Conducting of STONA fair from 1987onwards for promoting the Natural stone products in the domestic as well as international market (The export which was at Rs. 50 cr ores in 1987 has increased to Rs. 14,000 crores in 2016-17)
- Participation in various fairs across the world to promote the Indian natural stones.
- Impressed the Government and has brought the marble blocks import under OGL scheme
- Impressed the government to reduce the GST on polished slabs and tiles to 18 % from 28 %
The federation has lined up various program for the development of the Stone Industry as follows
- To develop R & D centre for Natural Stone Industry
- Training institute of International standard to impart training to operate high tech machines used in quarrying and processing sectors.
- World class stone museum
- Trade Centre
- Stone Testing laboratory
- Artisans development
- Exhibition Centre
In this direction, the federation has purchased necessary land in Chennapally village, Hosur taluk, Tamil Nadu which is the midpoint of Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh where large numbers of processing units are located.
I am very happy to welcome you all to the Curtain raiser press meet of STONA 2018.
You are all aware stona fairs are having a long history of 30 years and till now the Federation has conducted 12 stona fairs and the 13th is being held at BIEC Bangalore from 7th to 10th February 2018.
During 1987 few of our visionaries felt the need of having a Stone exhibition to promote the Indian Natural stone. At that period to conduct an International fair was not an easy job and lot of efforts was put by our seniors to get the necessary permission and conduct the fair in 1987. STONA 1987 was the first ever stone Industry fair held in entire Asia.
From then onwards, there was no looking back and regularly STONA fairs were conducted in 1992, 1996, 1999, and 2002. After that the STONA fair became a biennial event and every two years the fair is conducted. Till 2008 the fair was conducted in Palace Grounds and there after it was shifted to Bangalore International exhibition Centre and the fair was conducted in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Now the 13th International Granite and Stone Fair – STONA 2018 is being held at Bangalore International Exhibition Center, Bangalore from 7th to 10th February 2018.
STONA fairs are well established name in the international market and Now STONA stands in the 4th place in the international fairs after Xiamen in china, Verona in Italy and Izmir in Turkey.
When the first stona was started in 1987 the Indian exports was around 50 crores and after STONA 2016 it has crossed 14,000 crores which clearly shows the contribution of the STONA fairs.
I am very happy to inform you that the STONA 2018 fair is the largest stone fair held in India with a gross area of 60000 sq mts which is being occupied by about 650 exhibitors from India and abroad. The growth is about 40 %compared to the earlier STONA 2016 We are having country pavilion from Turkey, China and Italy and many of individual exhibitors are participating from Moracco, Tunesia, Portugal, Oman , Spain, Germany, Iran and many other countries.
Exhibitors from all over India are also participating and the state governments from Gujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan and Karnataka are also exhibiting the stones of their states.
These time large numbers of machinery manufacturers pertaining to the stone industry are showcasing the latest machinery available for the stone industry.
Large number of granite and Marble blocks from India and also from Iran, Turkey and other countries are also under display.
A buyer’s delegation from Poland is visiting the fair apart from the buyers from several other countries.
Ambassadors from various countries are also visiting STONA 2018 to get first hand information about what the Natural stone Industry of India can offer. Since raw material problem is faced by the Indian stone processing Industry, FIGSI made arrangement for an interactive session of the Industry with the Ambassadors on 7thFebruary 2018.
As per the tradition of our federation and as a social obligation, this time also we are having a dedicated area for the rural artisans under SHILP GRAM Program to show their skills in front of the visitors.
During this fair we are having three concurrent events/conferences for the benefit of the Industry.
- Natural Stone in Environmental Green Architecture on 8thFebruary 2018 – 10.30 AM
- Panel Discussion by Experts from Brazil, UK, Italy, and Spain about promotion of Natural stones by World Natural Stone Association(WONASA) 8thFebruary 2018 2.30 PM
- Govt. Policies for Sustainable Quarrying, Environment Protection and Economic Growth on 9thFebruary 2018 at 10.30 A.M.
- Interactive meeting with Ambassadors of various countries.
I Invite all of you to visit STONA 2018 and have a glimpse of what stone industry can offer to the country and also request you to kindly give vide coverage of our event in print and electronic media so that large number of visitors can visit the fair and take advantage of the business opportunities.
STATUS OF THE INDUSTRY:-
- India has the second largest deposit of Natural Stones in the world with 15% of the world Natural Stone reserves which is about 46.23 billion cubic meters.
- India is the largest producer of dimensional granite blocks (about 35 Million tonnes) major producing states are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat etc.
- India stands in 4thposition in the Natural Stone trade in the world. The total No. of people employed in the Natural Stone trade in the India is about 1.5 million.
- Indian exports have crossed $2.2 Billions (14,000 Crores) in 2016.
- India has adopted the latest technology in quarrying sector for cutting,drilling & handling, which has lead to improved production, less environmental damage and safe quarrying.
- The latest technology of wire saw cutting and circular saw cutting has lead to zero blasting, thereby leading to safe working environment with less pollution.
- The Indian quarrying sector pays the highest royalty in the world i.e., we pay about 15% on invoice value, where as the world average royalty is 3%.
- Over and above, we now contribute about 30% on royalty towards DMF (district Mineral Fund) which is utilised for infrastructure development and for providing basic facilities like education, health, drinking water, sanitation, roads etc in the particular district where the quarrying takes place. Thereby improving the quality of life for local people living in the quarrying areas.
Apart from the above, our members have undertaken several social works like building, hospitals, community centres, play grounds, schoolrooms, toilets, maintanance of roads, drinking water facilities etc, on there own for past several years.
- Environmental protection is now mandatory for every quarrying activity since we have to obtain an Environmental clearance certificate and have to strictly follow the conditions laid down in the E/C.
- The processing sector has developed very well in the last 10 years. The processing units have been setup in almost all the districts where quarrying activities takes place, since it is easy to procure the raw material.
- Today, India is exporting more than 70% of the stone products in value added form to more than 80 countries all over the world.
- Since the closure of most of the quarries in Tamilnadu and Karnataka due to the State Government policy decisions, the processing units are importing marble under OGL and EOU’S are importing both marble and granite blocks to overcome the shortage of supplies.
POLICY SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT:-
- Long term quarry lease ranging from 30-50 years with guaranteed renewals.
- Royalties to be reduced to match with global rates.
- Grant of quarry leases in a time bound manner within 90-120 days.
- Import of granite blocks to be brought under OGL. (open general licence)
- Reduce GST to 5% on blocks & 12% on slabs & Tiles.
- Competition from other countries like China, Turkey, Brazil, Iran etc.
- Competition from other similar products like quartz, ceramic, porcelain, glass etc.
- False propoganda like usage of child labour ,Radiation from stones etc.
- With policy support, the industry can grow 10-15% annually.
- Increase exports by 15-20%.
- Investment can go up to Rs 1 lakh crores from Present Rs 50,000 crores
- Provide employment to additional 15 lakh people.
- Over a period of time natural stone will prove that they are permanent compared to other competitive products.
Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)