PTDC sited under the administrative control of cabinet division
ISLAMABAD, July 23: The federal government has placed the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) under the administrative control of the cabinet division and decided to reconstitute its board of directors.
The new board, comprising 15 members, will be headed by Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Birjees Tahir.
Secretary of the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination Chaudhry Ijaz told Dawn that the ministry had received a summary from the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday and it would be forwarded to the cabinet division so that it could notify the decision.
“The prime minister has nominated Mr Birjees Tahir as chairman of the new board,” he said, adding that the ministry had also received the names of other members of the board.
The PTDC has become a rolling stone since the ministry of tourism was devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment in 2010. It has been working under the inter-provincial coordination ministry since 2011.
The centre and the provincial governments have been fighting over distribution of 39 hotels, motels and resorts of the PTDC located in different parts of the country.
According to unofficial estimates, the value of the PTDC’s property is said to be over Rs35 billion.
The PTDC assets include a plot near the sports gymnasium at Shakkar Parian, a restaurant at Daman-i-Koh in Islamabad, a restaurant at Jaltarang and motels at Saidu Sharif, Kalam, Maindam, Chakdara, Panakot/Dir, Chitral, Chattar Plain, Besham, Barseen, Balakot, Naran, Ayubia, Gilgit, Gopis, Hunza, Phandar, Rama Lake, Sust, Astak, Khaplu, Satpara, Skardu, Taftan (Pak-Iran boarder), Ziarat, Khuzdar, Chaman, Taxila, Wagah, Bahawalpur and Moenjodaro.
The former secretary of the inter-provincial coordination ministry had made an attempt last year to hand over most of the PTDC’s motels located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the KP government, but the federal government thwarted the move.
Because of the tug of war between the centre and the provinces, more than 1,000 employees of the corporation have not received salaries for the past 19 months.
It was decided earlier that the employees would be given a relief in the federal budget for 2014-15, but they got nothing.
The federal government had also agreed in principle to give the PTDC a bailout package of Rs1.5bn in the budget, but nothing happened.
But a senior PTDC official expressed the hope that problems of the employees would be resolved with the change of command of the corporation.
Published in Dawn, July 22nd , 2014