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Governor’s houses, rest houses burden on kitty: Imran

Governor’s houses, rest houses burden on kitty: Imran

ABBOTTABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Friday said after forming government in the centre, his party would hand over the country’s all governor’s houses and rest houses to the people instead of reserving them for the ruling class only to reduce burden on the public exchequer.

“It seems this is a small thing but in reality, this is the philosophy that will pave the way for making Naya (new) Pakistan by generating taxes. Rs20 million was being spent on these rest houses from the provincial exchequer but in future, they will generate money,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at the handing over of 15 government rest houses to the tourism department in the tourist-bound areas of the province.

Imran Khan said an independent authority would be set up to manage rest houses in the province and that the revenue generated in that way would be spent on the development of Galyat region.

He said the governor’s house was a burden on the exchequer.

“The governor’s house is mostly deserted. The governor rarely visits it. We need to stop such a waste of money,” he said.

The PTI chief congratulated Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and his team for executing the idea of commercialising rest houses and implementing other reforms.

He said new resorts would also be established in the region to promote tourism.

Imran Khan also said amendments to the relevant laws would be made to give the GDA more autonomy and powers to generate better employment opportunities and revenues for the region.

On the occasion, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak formally opened the government rest houses to the people by launching reservation web portal.

In the first phase, 15 rest houses including Retreat House, Karnak House, Police Rest House, Additional Cottage, Vendia Cottage, Pine Rest House, Forests Cottage and European Cottage 29, 30 and 1 in Nathiagali, Inspection Bungalow in Murree, Forest Rest House and TCKP Rest House in Thandiani, Forest Rest House in Dungagali and Forest Rest House in Barian were transferred to the tourism department.

TCKP had commercially operationalised them in the third week of July 2015 and generated Rs4 million rupees.

The second phase includes the transfer of 13 more rest houses to the tourism department.

Among those rest houses are Fan House, Speaker House, C&W House, Inspection Bungalow, Blue Pine Cottage and Shimla House in Nathiagali, C&W Rest House in Changla Gali, C&W Rest House in Thandiani, Dugree Inspection Hut, Birangali Forest Rest House, Dak Bungalow in Nathiagali, Changla Gali Rest House and GDA Rest House in Khanaspur.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2015

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