‘Inconsistent policies plaguing India’s granite industry’

Bengaluru, Feb 1 (IANS) The Indian granite industry is suffering from lack of a uniform policy countrywide, said industry body Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry (FIGSI) on Monday.

“Different states have different rules on mining granite and stones which fall into the minor minerals category. Inconsistency in policy is plaguing the industry,” said FIGSI president R. Sekar.
Non-renewal of existing mining leases and lack of new leases is pulling the industry down with losses, which is another major concern, he added.
“Karnataka alone has 4,000 pending applications going back to 15 years. When we go to the courts, the courts direct us back to the state governments. And there is a huge waste of time,” said Sekar.
The industry body is demanding long-term quarry mining leases and first come, first serve policy to be incorporated into the industry.
FIGSI vice president S. Krishna Prasad sought that long term quarry mining leases should have a time frame of a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 30 years or more or until the minerals are available.
Of the one lakh leases available in the country, only 60 percent are functional right now resulting in plummeting exports.
Sekar said the industry is valued at $4 billion and has the potential to generate lakhs of semi-skilled employment in rural places.
FIGSI is organizing its international exhibition STONA 2016 from February 3 to 6 at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).