The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) will take initiatives to develop its tourism sector in the annual development programme of the upcoming financial year. K-P Minister for Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs, Aqil Shah, stated this during a question-hour session of the provincial assembly on Monday.
Responding to the question of Abdul Sattar Khan and Inayatullah Khan Jadoon of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, the minister said that PC-Is for the development of tourist resorts in Chopat and Kumrat valleys, Dir district, are ready and will be included in the next annual development plan. He said that several other development schemes to promote tourism, such as the Kaghan Adventure Scheme, will also be initiated in the next financial year.
Shah acknowledged that the hotelier sector is not receiving facilities as are other industrial sectors of the province; however, he said that negotiations to bring the sector at par with others are underway with the federal government. “Hoteliers of Swat already enjoy tax waivers, however, a summary on the issue has been prepared and will be sent to the federal government in a few days,” he added.
He said that the present government has initiated work on a record 151 development schemes in sports sector. He said that all districts have been accommodated in the development schemes to promote sports activities.
On the development work at Lala Ayub Hockey Stadium, the provincial minister said that floodlights have been installed at the stadium to facilitation players. He said that another artificial turf stadium has been set up in Abbottabad to reduce load on the Lala Ayub stadium.
Regarding the construction of stadium in Shahu Khel, Lakki Marwat district, Shah assured that the project will also be initiated in the upcoming fiscal year.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.
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