To ensure enough raw material availability for manufacture of stone products in the country, industry body AIGSA has demanded the free import of granite and marble blocks.

"The present policy allows import of marble blocks under licence scheme with restrictions, whereas granite blocks are not allowed for import. This is the major hurdle in the growth of the industry," All India Granite and Stone Association (AIGSA) President J B Surana said.

Import of granite and marble blocks need to be brought under open general license (OGL) scheme so that sufficient quantity of the raw material is available in the country, he added.

Stating that India is a major exporter of granite and natural stone products with annual exports of about Rs. 9,000 crore, he said shortage of raw material is the biggest hurdle in the industry’s growth.

AIGSA also emphasised that import of finished stone products should be restricted by fixing the floor price to protect the domestic units.

The industry body will be organising an annual stone fair 'STONA' from February 12-15 in Bangalore.

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