Jaipur, Feb 1 (IANS) The Rajasthan government has been pushing for new technologies in the sandstone and marble business to improve the quality of products, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said.
Inaugurating the seventh edition of India Stonemart at the Export Promotion Industrial Park here, Gehlot said new technology had resulted in the introduction of new finishes on products and better quality.
"The state is already producing 90 percent of sandstone and marble and has recently also increased its share of granite production in the country," Gehlot said Thursday.
"All this has been possible because we took some important steps which have led to development of the sate, bringing employment to the state, particularly in rural areas," he said.
Gehlot said nearly 8,000 people were employed in Rajasthan's stone industry.
Addressing the event, state Industry Minister Rajendra Pareek said the government's policies have helped attract new investments.
"This has greatly benefited investors and helped Rajasthan become the number one choice for investment. We are ready for any investor who wants to set up industry here," Pareek said.
He said the Rajasthan government has a land bank of 5,000 acres and has identified mining as a thrust area.
"Stonemart has helped us greatly in introducing new technology to this sector thus proving a boon for its development. This has resulted in reducing wastage," he said.
Pareek also emphasised on the need for the introduction of environment friendly technologies. "The effort has to be made by both sides, the mining industry as well as the clearing authorities by protecting the environment as well as by giving timely clearances so that the development does not suffer," he said.
Sunil Arora, additional chief secretary (industries) and chairman Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO), said: "The presence of a large number of foreign delegates and pavilions of four big countries of the stone sector is a testimony to the importance of Stonemart."
Turkish Ambassador Burak Akcapar, the guest of honour at the inaugural function, said the presence of 65 exhibitors from his country was proof of the importance of Stonemart as well as the growing business relations between India and Turkey.