Friday December 09, 2022

‘231pc increase in budget to boost tourism’

By Our Correspondent
June 22, 2021

LAHORE:The Punjab government has significantly increased its development budget from previous years. A major increase can be seen in the tourism sector, which has always been the PTI government’s priority since its inception in 2018, it is learnt.

Up to Rs1.45bn has been allocated for tourism and mines & minerals, respectively, which reflects a 231pc increase in tourism budget. A cursory look at the budget document shows there are 14 ongoing schemes and 17 proposed new schemes. Up to Rs750 million has been allocated for North Punjab and Rs350 million for south and central Punjab. The approved cost for the 14 ongoing schemes is Rs1.081.425 billion, and they are expected to be completed by 2023. The 17 new schemes will get a total of Rs1.064 billion. These new projects are also expected to be finished by 2023.

The government is focusing on both new schemes and renovations of already built-sites. Cleanliness drives are also kept as an integral part of the schemes. Various racks and sites are being cleaned. For the efficient use of space, glamping pods are being installed in Patriata. This will increase the capacity of the area to host tourists. Moreover, there are plans to launch a sightseeing double-decker bus, in southern Punjab. This will allow for tourists to be shown all the important sites in the selected cities.

The government aims to create adventure parks. It has proposed the establishment of Adventure Park and Parkway Project at Soon Valley, District Khushab. In Jhang, there is a proposal to create a water park. Foreign nationals will be able to get e-visas and the visa policies have also been relaxed to give a boost to the tourism industry.