To boost production of granite, the Gujarat government will unveil its new granite policy at an event in Bengaluru on Friday. The government is hopeful that the new policy will help it set up two “granite finishing clusters” in Sabarkantha and pave way for the e-auction of 52 granite blocks.
“We have finalised our new granite policy and it will be unveiled on February 9 at the 13th International Granites and Stone Fair (Stone 2018). Most of the players from the granite industry hail from Bengaluru or Hyderabad. This is the reason why we decided to launch the policy there,” Roopwant Singh, the head of state’s Commissionerate of Geology and Mining, told The Indian Express.
Once the policy is unveiled, the state government will move towards e-auctioning of 229 million tonnes of granite spread over 196 hectares in three districts of Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Chhota Udepur. At present, Gujarat produces just 0.23 million metric tonnes of granite every year, and the new policy is expected to boost the production to three million metric tonnes — a 13-fold jump and equivalent to the amount of granite produced by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — the top granite producing states.
“We have spent around Rs 40 lakh in exploring and establishing 196 hectare granite-bearing area with 229 million tonne granite resource. This is nearly 1,000 times the current annual production of granite in Gujarat. These resources comprising of around 52 granite blocks and 13 different colours have already been surveyed and are ready for auction,” Singh said adding that e-auction of the blocks will take place immediately after the policy is announced.
“In order to avoid cartelisation, a two-stage e-auction process will be conducted across a period of three to four months,” he said, adding that the new granite mines will offer direct employment to about 5,000 people. The e-auction will also help the state government increase its revenue from royalty to Rs 30 crore from the existing Rs 3 crore.
The government proposes to set up two granite finishing clusters near Vadali and Idar in Sabarkantha district. “Currently, all the granite mined in Gujarat either goes to Rajasthan or China to be cut and processed. Such clusters at these potential locations will ensure creation of employment among the local population,” Singh added.