LAHORE: The government is formulating a comprehensive strategy to promote tourism and the first tourism policy of the Punjab government would be announced soon, said Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.
He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting at his office on Thursday, 7 March to review the performance of the Punjab Tourism Department. Buzdar said the past governments had neglected the development of the tourism sector, however, now the government was taking practical measures to promote the tourism sector. He said the draft tourism policy has been given final shape which would be soon presented before the cabinet.
The chief minister said guest houses and rest houses would be utilised for promoting tourism and 27 rest houses of the irrigation department have been opened for the people and could be booked online while other rest houses would soon be opened for the general public.
He underlined tremendous tourism opportunities in Punjab. “Fruit festival will be organised to promote agri-tourism while desert safari will be introduced in Cholistan and Thal areas. Cultural shows should also be arranged along with desert safari,” he said.
He directed the tourism department to devise and implement a comprehensive plan in this regard. The development of new tourist spots would help to promote tourism along with opening new employment opportunities, he maintained.
While presided over the meeting of cabinet standing committee on finance and development at his office, the chief minister gave the approval to grant financial aid to the legal heirs in case of death of contract employees during service.
The chief minister rejected the proposal of increasing the fare of metro buses, adding “we do not want to put any burden on the people as providing relief to the citizens is a priority of the government”. “The Punjab Masstransit Authority should look for other feasible options to enhance their resources instead of increasing the fare,” he added.
Provincial Minister Finance Hashim Jawan Bakhat, Provincial Minister for Industry Mian Aslam Iqbal, P&D chairman, finance secretary and other officials concerned were also present in the meeting.