Granite Exports May Zoom

Hyderabad, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
Things are looking up for the 60-odd granite export-oriented units (EOUs) in India. Going by the current estimates, the industry is set to post an enhanced export turnover in the current fiscal, thanks to the waiver of interest burden coupled with increased demand for value-added products in the overseas markets.

Speaking to FE, Mr N V Rattaiah, president, Confedera-tion of 100 per cent granite EOUs, said: The industry is expected to register a sharp growth in exports at Rs 2,500 crore during the current fiscal as against last years turnover of Rs 1,500 crore. The exports during the last few years were hovering around Rs 1,200 crore and Rs 1,500 crore due to slowdown in the global economy, Mr Rattaiah added.

Mr Rattaiah predicts that the export market for the value-added products will increase to eight to 10 per cent in the next three to four years. We have seen a quantum jump in turnover in the current year due to boom in the construction activity in the US, he explained. Majority of the EOUs, which were passing through a difficult period for the last three years, have geared up to the changed market situation and to explore the demand from overseas market.

In the last 12 to 15 months time, both the financial institutions and banks have together waived an interest burden of over Rs 100 crore, he said. The FIs have also released additional funds to technological upgradation and for capacity expansion, Mr Rattaiah said.

This helps the industry post a higher export turnover in the current fiscal, he said.

The operational capacity has doubled to 5.1 million sq m during the current fiscal as against 2.5 million sq m in the previous year. The number of gangsaws have also been increased to 280 units as against 250 units a year back.

Besides targeting the premium markets like the US, the EOUs have also found lucrative markets in the Europe, the UK and France for the value-added products, Mr Rattaiah said. Even Italy, which was hitherto a major exporter of granites, marbles and value-added products to global countries, has started importing the finished goods from India, thus giving necessary impetus to the industry, he added.