JAIPUR: Weak demand from the international markets continue to weigh on financial health of Rajasthan as the state registered Rs 36,047 crore of total exports, a 7% drop in 2015-16 over the last year. Agro and food sector witnessed the biggest fall of about 63% over previous year, putting a major dent on the overall tally.
Total exports were Rs 3,093 cr in 2015-16 against Rs 8009 cr from previous year. "Sector was on rise because of Guar Gum which was in high demand in oil companies. It even went up to Rs 14,500 crore in 2012-13 when demand was at peak. From then there is gradual downfall though this year it was more significant" said an official from the industry department.
Total exports from the state were 38,767 crore in the 2014-15 and Rs 37,286 crore a year before that. Dimensional stones, marbles, granites and mica stones from Rajasthan which are known worldwide also withered facing global recession. Recording 32% decline the total exports from this sector were Rs 1,936 crore while it was Rs 2,848 cr in the previous year.
People related to the industry however are not surprised. They claim that Rajasthan's granite and marble processing units are grappling with a severe shortage of raw material. "State is yet to frame mining rules while several mines are closed in absence of environmental clearances. This was bound to happen. But other reason is that Rajasthan marble is facing completion from Turkey which is cheaper and there is good demand from domestic market too" said Mahesh Agarwal, marble exporter.