KARACHI - The flow of marble exports is likely to be diverted towards Balochistan as the other major areas of marble production (Swat region) are under duress. It is noteworthy that some 80 types of marble are available in Balochistan and being near to Karachi port it has an edge over NWFP, while the government can earn some 200 to 300 million dollars per year if some incentives are given to marble sector in Balochistan. It is pertinent to mention that Onex is only produced in Balochistan, while the growth of 59.57% was recorded in marble sector in 2008-09 in Balochistan. 'Due to global recession Europe is going to be major market for our Marble products, on the other hand China is currently the biggest market of our marble products, said Sardar Shaukat, Chairman Balochistan Economic Forum. The need is simply incentives; subsidy on electricity should be given as this sector is highly dependent of it, relief in duties and taxes is required though the current taxes are not unjustified, financial relief to be given to the individual mill owners, he added. Besides, the mining sector should be equally treated, while mill owners and industrialists should be given relief. The provincial budget is likely to be announced on June 20 and nothing is expected, yet it would be much help to the sector if the provincial government makes a committee and takes the federal government on board for the assistance in the proper exploitation of the sector, he added. The other measures the provincial government should take are to have a better mining policy, to update mining rules, to lease land free of cost, and relief in exports of the stones. However, no mining is being done by the provincial government currently. The stones being produced in Balochistan are of fine quality and not lower in quality than stones of Italy, besides this Balochistan has huge reserves of minerals. The marble sectors export of the country stood at $25.8 million during July-March 2009 as compared to $16.55 million in same period last year, registering an increase of around $9.25 million. Moreover, during March 2008 marble exports stood at $2.1 million while in March 2009, they were $3.15 million due to fine quality and growing demand aboard, the statistics told. On the other hand, he termed the federal budget 2009-10 a plausible one for Balochistan as importance was given to the agriculture sector and 35 dames would be built in Balochistan. He further said that increase in BSDP is good for us, while the roads will also be completed in this period to link Gwadar to Punjab and Afghanistan. There are few reservations on the budget as well and one of them is like we were expecting incentives for Gwadar which were not announced that might thin out the progressive work at the port, he added.