LAHORE: As foreign tourists come to Pakistan with houbara bustard hunting season set to kick off, the Punjab government has already received $400,000 for hunting permits in Rahim Yar Khan.
The government has set a $100,000 fees per head for each hunter with all those wanting to hunt falcons needing to deposit a seperate fees.
In October of last year, the federal government had imposed a ban on free hunting.
Previously, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had waived fees on hunters from countries, especially for dignitaries coming from Arab nations.
The current government, however, has not only rolled back the policy, but has also increased the charged fees.
The Punjab Wildlife Department Director Muhammad Naeem Bhatti said that the federal government had issued instructions to all four provinces in this regard.
Bhatti added that now the set fee is being collected from all houbara bustard hunters coming from overseas.
“So far four foreigners have deposited set fee for hunting in the current season,” he said, adding that each hunter would be given 10 days permission for hunting against a fee of $100,000.
Similarly, an additional $1,000 will have to paid for each falcon used in hunting of the endangered species.
The step is being taken to generate income from the hunting in breeding of the animals lost to the recreational activity.
Moreover, the funds may also be used for development work in areas where hunting is being done.
A committee has also been formed to develop the procedure for using the funds.
According to the plan, 50 per cent of the revenue will be used for development work while 35 per cent will be given to Houbara Foundation to enable additional breeding of endangered species.