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Global meltdown hits sandstone industry of Rajasthan

Jaipur, Mon, 27 Oct 2008 ANI

Jaipur, Oct.27 (ANI): With global meltdown in financial markets beginning to shake the Indian stock markets badly, the sandstone industry of Jaipur has also come under its affect.


Major clients in the U.S and U.K have cancelled their orders following which the local markets of sandstone in Rajasthan are facing recession.


About a million people, related to the sandstone industry, are confronted with the possibility of getting badly affected here. The number of people directly or indirectly faced with the crisis amounts to 70 per cent of the total workforce involved in this industry.


Rajasthan's Kota area, which used to export around 1200 to 1250 containers per month, is today exporting between 200 to 250 containers in the same period only.


"The economic recession in the U.S has affected the stone business by 80-90 percent. The volume of stone was 2,000 containers but the exporters who used to do business around 35 containers have reduced to 30-35 this time. The buyers already have enough stock with them and are not demanding for more, as they have less product value. The Government projects also have shut down due to recession. They do not have any local buyers," said Pradeep Singh, Regional Manager of the Seamax Logistic Limited.


Hundreds of empty trailers parked outside the Inland container depots in Jaipur are basically waiting for cargo. But the cargo movements are very slow at dry ports in Rajasthan.


"Construction industry is affected due to the recession where stone plays a major role. Our orders have also reduced by 50-60 percent and the coming year also does not promise good results. We used to get orders for next year by now but is not the case this time, " said Pravin Bengani, one sand stone exporter.


Rajasthan contributes 65 per cent of the total national production of sandstone in India.


"There are 500 exporters involved in the sandstone industry. Over 10 lakh people are directly or indirectly involved in this industry like labour, crane, tractor, transport and mine. Companies had to reduce staff and even we had to do the same due to this recession," said Satish Yadav, Sand Stone Exporter


India stands at the third place next to China and Italy in sandstone industry. India's green marble is the pride of marble industry in the world. Lokendra Singh (ANI)


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