Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry (FIGSI) hosts STONA 2018 from Feb 7th-10th 2018

Bengaluru 5th February 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 soleobject of the Federation is to promote natural stone industry of Indiaacross the globe and to resolve the issues faced by the Natural Stone Industry.

India is acountry which is endowed with high quality natural stones like granite, marble,sandstone, slate, limestone and quartzite etc that are widespread in everycorner of the nation. India has more than 11% export share in total world'sstone trade. Indian share is more than 27% of the total stones producedthroughout the world. India is recognized as one of the largest dimensionalblock producer in the world . Indian slabs, tiles, and monuments  aresupplied to more than 80 countries . Presently, stone industry is recognized asone of the fastest growing mineral industry in boosting the Indian economy.

Federationhas been well recognized by all the state governments andcentral governments as the only national body to promote the Natural stoneIndustry. FIGSI is also member of various committees formed by thecentral and state governments. 

Achievementsof the Federation:

  • a)      Formation of Granite Development council by Government of India
  • b)      Formation of Group on Marble development by Government of India
  • c)      The Granite conservation and Development rules 1999 for Granite development was framed by Central Government  for the entire country.
  • d)     The marble conservation and development rules was framed for the development of Marble trade in India
  • e)      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)
  • f)       Participation in various fairs across the world to promote the Indian natural stones.
  • g)      Impressed the Government and has brought the marble blocks import under OGL scheme
  • h)      Impressed the government to reduce the GST on polished slabs and tiles to 18 % from 28 %
  • Thefederation has lined up various program for the development of the StoneIndustry 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, Hosurtaluk, Tamil Nadu which is the midpoint of Karnataka, Tamilnadu and AndhraPradesh where large numbers of processing units are located.

    STONA2018

    I am veryhappy to welcome you all to the Curtain raiser press meet of STONA 2018.

    You are allaware stona fairs are having a long history of 30 years and till now theFederation has conducted 12 stona fairs and the 13th is beingheld at BIEC Bangalore from 7th to 10th February2018.

    During 1987few of our visionaries felt the need of having a Stone exhibition topromote the Indian Natural stone.  At that period to conductan International fair was not an easy job and lot of efforts was putby our seniors to get the necessary permission and conduct the fair in1987.  STONA 1987 was the first ever stone Industry fair heldin   entire Asia.

    From thenonwards, there was no looking back and regularly STONAfairs were conducted in 1992, 1996, 1999, and 2002.  After that theSTONA fair became a biennial event and every two years the fair isconducted.  Till 2008 the fair was conducted in Palace Grounds andthere after it was shifted to Bangalore International exhibition Centre and thefair was conducted in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

    Now the 13th InternationalGranite and Stone Fair – STONA 2018 is being held at Bangalore InternationalExhibition Center, Bangalore from 7th to 10th February2018.

    STONA fairsare well established name in the international market and Now STONA stands inthe 4th place in the international fairs after Xiamen in china,Verona in Italy and Izmir in Turkey.

    When thefirst stona was started in 1987 the Indian exports was around 50 croresand after STONA 2016 it has crossed 14,000 crores which clearly showsthe contribution of the STONA fairs.

    I am veryhappy to inform you that the STONA 2018 fair is the largest stonefair held in India with a gross area of 60000 sq mts which is being occupied byabout 650 exhibitors from India and abroad. The growth is about 40 %compared tothe earlier STONA 2016   We are having country pavilion fromTurkey, China and Italy and many of individual exhibitors are participatingfrom Moracco, Tunesia, Portugal, Oman , Spain, Germany, Iran and many othercountries. 

    Exhibitorsfrom all over India are also participating and the state governments fromGujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan and Karnataka are also exhibiting the stones oftheir states.

    These timelarge numbers of machinery manufacturers pertaining to the stone industry areshowcasing the latest machinery available for the stone industry.

    Large numberof granite and Marble blocks from India and also from Iran, Turkey and othercountries are also under display.

    A buyer’sdelegation from Poland is visiting the fair apart from the buyers from severalother countries.

    Ambassadorsfrom various countries are also visiting STONA 2018 to get first handinformation about what the Natural stone Industry of India can offer. Since rawmaterial problem is faced by the Indian stone processing Industry,FIGSI made arrangement for an interactive session of the Industry with theAmbassadors on 7thFebruary 2018.

    As per thetradition of our federation and as a social obligation, this time also we arehaving a dedicated area for the rural artisans under SHILP GRAMProgram to show their skills in front of the visitors.

    During thisfair we are having three concurrent events/conferences for the benefit of theIndustry.

  • 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 allof you to visit STONA 2018 and have a glimpse of what stone industry can offerto the country and also request you to kindly give vide coverage of our eventin print and electronic media so that large number of visitors can visit thefair and take advantage of the business opportunities. 

    STATUSOF 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 fromthe above, our members have undertaken several social works like building,hospitals, community centres, play grounds, schoolrooms, toilets, maintananceof 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.
  • POLICYSUPPORT 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.
  •    CHALLENGES:-

  • 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.
  • FUTUREOUTLOOK:-

  • 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. 

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