TN granite industry shifting to Rajasthan

M. Ramesh | | Updated on: Jan 05, 2022
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With quarrying licences not being issued, units do not have access to raw material

With raw material inaccessible in Tamil Nadu, many granite processing units are relocating to Rajasthan. About ₹1,000 crore of investments is lost due to this ongoing migration.

And, because of the new units coming up in Rajasthan, some 600 small, ancillary units (cutters) are coming up in the State, which could mean another ₹6,000 crore of investment.

Despite the raw material – rough stones – being available aplenty in Tamil Nadu, the State government is not giving quarrying licences. The issue is partly political, partly due to the misdemeanor of some industry players and partly due to bureaucratic activism. As such, the processing units in the State, who make monuments (tombstones, slabs etc.) are forced to procure rough stones from other States, which adds to the costs.

‘Need raw material’

The Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry (FIGSI), keen on taking up the issue with the Tamil Nadu government, is holding a seminar on Thursday, in which senior ministers of the government are expected to participate. They include the Minister for Mines and Minerals, Durai Murugan, Industries Minister, Thangam Thennarasu and the Minister for MSMEs, TM Anbarasan.

The Association’s pitch to the government is simple: give us raw materials. Tamil Nadu has the best of stones, for which there is a good demand abroad, especially, when the principal global supplier, China, is waning, says Iswinder Singh, President, FIGSI.

‘Expanding elsewhere’

“We want to stop the migration of units from Tamil Nadu to other States,” Singh told Business Line today. Some of those who are now present in Tamil Nadu but are making their investments in expansion in Rajasthan are: Marudar Granites, Aro Granite, Miracle Granites, Tab India and SK International.

Almost all of these units are located in the Hosur – Krishnagiri belt. While they are keeping their operations in the State low, all their expansion investments are happening in Rajasthan, which is welcoming of the stone industry.

“If we are given raw material, we can flourish in Tamil Nadu,” says Namasivayam Asoken, Vice President, FIGSI, who runs a granite processing unit, Om Exports, in Chennai.

A long-standing exporter, Asoken says there is very good overseas demand for products made from stones available in Tamil Nadu. He points out that the granite processing industry is a huge generator of rural employment. The monument (tombstone) sub-segment alone, worth ₹1,200 crore, can generate 25,000 rural jobs, he says.

Published on January 05, 2022

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