Hosted by Federation of Indian Granite & Stone Industry in association with Indian Monument Manufactures Association and Tamil Nadu Granite Quarry Owners & Exporters Association

Chennai, “Seminar on Natural Stone”, India’s most acclaimed event concluded today with many positive notes in Chennai. The seminar brought together over 300 participants but was restricted to 100 in line with the covid protocols, representing the entire natural stone industry, Hon’ble ministers of Government of Tamil Nadu, policy makers to deliberate on the natural stone industry scenario in the country and explore various investment potential in the sector.

The seminar was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Thiru. Durai Murugan, Hon’ble Minister for Water Resources, Minerals and Mines, Government of Tamil Nadu in the august presence of:

¥  Thiru Thangam Thennarasu, Hon’ble Minister for Industries, Government of Tamil Nadu

The event was hosted by Shri. Ishwinder Singh, President, FIGSI, Shri. N Ashoken, Vice President, FIGSI in association with Shri. M Ramasamy, President, IMMA and Shri. N Mahesh, President TNGQOEA. Also, present at the Seminar was Shri. R Veeramani, Founder President, FIGSI

Commenting on the occasion, Shri. Ishwinder Singh, President, FIGSI said, “We are glad to host this event in Tamil Nadu which would be an apt platform for the entire natural stone industry. Seminar on Natural Stone aims to provide an in-depth analytical view of the industry. Also, hearing the leaders from the sector voicing their opinions and concerns have opened many eyes today”.

He added, “There was a shortage of raw materials like rough granite blocks, materials were being transported from other States”.

 Shri. N Ashoken, Vice President, FIGSI said, “The support provided by our Hon’ble Ministers and the Government of Tamil Nadu is the strong source behind the success of our discussion. This seminar has fulfilled the purpose of bringing together the players of the industry under one roof to encourage investment in the sector”.

Addressing the Seminar Thiru. Durai Murugan, Hon’ble Minister for Water Resources, Minerals and Mines said, “The State Government will consider the demands of the granite industry which has been severely hit over the past few years, decisions to streamline the industry would be taken after discussions with its representatives after Pongal”.

R. Veeramani, founder-president of FIGSI, said the Government should review the situation and simplify the procedures to obtain quarry licences and renewals to enable the growth of the stone industry, which was a rural-oriented and labour intensive sector. The Government must formulate a conducive policy for the development of the sector. More granite quarries must be opened, he demanded.

FIGSI president Ishwinder Singh said as there was a shortage of raw materials like rough granite blocks, materials were being transported from other States.

N. Mahesh, president, TNGQOEA, said only 20% of the 900 quarries were operating in the State and several applications for licenses or renewals were pending. Moreover, only 10% of the granite stones or raw materials were available in the State, and the remaining were procured from other States.

The Association members also expressed great confidence in the present Tamil Nadu Government in removing the hurdles faced by the Tamil Nadu quarry industry over the last several years.

 There were detailed discussions on how industry leaders in Tamil Nadu could collaborate to further develop the Natural Stone industry and take it to greater heights. Some of the primary highlights of the seminar was:

¥  Tamil Nadu is a dominant player in the field of Monument exports ranking No.1, since  80% of Monument production and exports takes place from our state

¥  Identify various dimensions of the Natural Stone sector, boost up manufacturing and exports which has gained prominence due to the slowdown of Chinese exports

¥  Analyse and iron out the obstacles and create conducive environment for the future growth

¥  Currently, building slab industry is working with only 50% capacity utilisation, even though there is a huge market to be tapped

¥  Discussion on the most pressing issues, various potential and scope, challenges surrounding the development and implementation of skilled manpower and availability of rough granite blocks

¥  FIGSI is poised on export front, keen to create a skill development centre in Krishnagiri, for which they are seeking support and guidance from the Government of Tamil Nadu

¥  Networking with the policy-makers & industry veterans aims at furthering and developing new guidelines to simplify procedures and take natural stone industry growth in India to the next orbit

The seminar brought together incredible connections from across industry. FIGSI being a professional body strives to boost up the export, attract new investment, skill development, rural employment and many more  for which, we would require the entire natural stone fraternity to come forward and work closely with the association to take the natural stone industry ahead in India.