The authorities concerned have decided to reduce the price of stones in order to boost sales. The amount of stones being mined has increased but the sales has been falling dramatically. The government owned company is now suffering losses as a result.
It was known that the mining authorities, stone dealers and mine workers have not taken any meaningful steps in order to facilitate sales. The decrease in commission rate for the stone distributors from 5% to 3% has made many lose interest in the sales of stones. The newly imposed control over the weight of motor vehicles used in stone transport has also driven up costs and further reduced sales.
German Trident Consortium (GTC), a contractual firm, is responsible for the lifting, managing and maintaining of stone from Maddhapara Mine. Maddhapara Granite Mining Company Limited (MGMCL), controlled by Petrobangla, is in charge of selling stones of the mine. These mining stones are not sold directly to buyers but through the 45 fixed dealers.
According to mine sources, currently six lakh metric tons of stones are unclaimed in the stone paddy. The amount of stone extraction has increased since the beginning of this year. An official of the mine said on condition of anonymity that currently the production target of mine is 20 lakh metric tons per month. More than one million metric tons are produced. But less than half of that has been sold.
If the sale does not increase, then it will take more than one year for the sale of stored stones.
Load-unload Labor Union Organization’s Sadekul Islam, commented that sales of stone extracted in Madhyapara has fallen due to import of stones from India. Sales has been reduced to 100 to 150 trucks whereas previously 250 to 300 trucks where being sent out.
MGMCL General Manager Md. Abu Taleb Farazi said, a proposal to reduce the price of stone has been sent to the ministry to increase the sale. Discussions are being held with the heads of various organizations to use the Madhyapara stone supply for government projects. If that is ensured, the sales will increase and the amount stored will also decrease.