Although the federal tourism industry was dissolved after the 18th Amendment, the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) is yet to hand over its property to the Tourism Corporation Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP).
The PTDC and other immovable properties are worth billions of rupees and are vital for the TCKP to develop tourism in the militancy-hit province.
TCKP Deputy Director of Properties Sajjad Khan said that PTDC had been showing reluctance in handing over land and motels to the provincial government. “It had to be handed over to us in April 2011, but so far nothing has happened,” he told The Express Tribune.
The TCKP says it has raised the issue with the PTDC several times. A meeting at the Prime Minister House was also held to discuss the matter, but the issue remains unresolved. Khan added that the motels that have been transferred to the provincial government are profitable.
However, PTDC Media Deputy Director Rana Mukhtar said that the delay in handing over immovable property to provinces is due to the slow devolution process. “The matter is in the hands of the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee; whenever the Government of Pakistan tells us to handover the property to provinces we will do it without any delay.”
He alleged that provinces are only interested in taking the ownership of property without showing any interest in the thousands of federal employees which are working at PTDC motels.
After partnering with the private sector, the TCKP has begun generating revenue from PTDC motels in Nathiagali, Naran and Kunda Park. Khan said that out of a total of 19 currently being managed by the federal government, only five were profitable.
During a provincial assembly session earlier, K-P Minister for Tourism Syed Aqil Shah criticised the PTDC for delaying the transfer. He also said that the PTDC management was violating the law by retaining the assets of the devolved ministry.
Some properties that have yet to be handed to the TCKP include the PTDC motel in Chitral, Torkham and Ayubia.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2012.