KARACHI: The import of granite from India has badly hampered the country’s potential production of the product, all due to the negligence of Pakistan Customs. The export of marble to India during July 2015 to March 2016 stood at $4.5 million while the import of banned item, granite, during the same period stood at $10 million, said members of the All Pakistan Marble Mining Processing Industry and Exporters Association (APMMPIEA).The misinterpretation of the HS Code 6802.2300 of Pakistan Customs Tariff regarding granite, under Appendix G of Import Policy Ordinance 2013, is being widely violated by the officials of the authority, it was said. The local industry is facing hardships to compete in the market, as the banned item is openly available in the country. The Customs Valuation Ruling for finished granite is incorrectly classified under PCT Code 6802.2300.The industry people have urged the Customs not to encourage such activities besides ensuring penalty and punishment to those importing banned items in order to sooth the local industry’s potential. The overall marble sector export during July 2015-March 2016 stood at $32.695 million, registering a decrease of around $21.895 million as compared to the same period last year that stood at $54.59 million, APMMPIEA Chairman Sanaullah Khan said, adding that the export target for fiscal year 2015-16 had been fixed at around $60 million and under such situation, the need of completion of marble city was imminent.The decline in export can be attributed to power load shedding, power outages and law and order situation besides high cost of doing business, he said, adding that Pakistani marble was of excellent quality and its products could compete with any other county’s products in the world.He said global trade in marble and granite was estimated at $44.5 billion a year while Pakistan remained a marginal market player. “With much needed improvement in its infrastructure and technology, this sector has the potential to play far more important role in increasing exports of the country,” he added.Khan said there was no problem of quantity but Pakistan was facing problems of quality and value addition, as the country has poor infrastructure and lack of modern machinery and technology to cater to the demand of the global market.“Early resolution and start of marble city project should be the top priority and work on the project should be completed on war footings,” the chairman said, adding that after setting up marble city, marble exports would enhance to $2.5 billion in next ten years and the number of industrial units would be increased up to 5,000.“The government has approved Karachi Marble City proposal submitted from APMMPIEA and around 350 acre of land on Northern Bypass has already be allocated for this project. The federal government has already sanctioned funds for the development of marble city, but due to delay on one pretext to another, the project has been in doldrums. PC-I of this project has already been approved in June 2007,” he added.