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Govt wants to develop new tourist resorts in hilly areas: PM Imran Khan

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting on the development of New Balakot City as a Tourist Hub.

“The government wants to develop new tourist resorts in hilly areas for the promotion of tourism in the Country,” the prime minister said.

“For this purpose, reputed private investors in the field of tourism and hospitality are being attracted on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode,” he added.

The prime minister directed the federal and provincial authorities concerned to take all necessary measures to fully facilitate private investors in this regard. He further directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to take over the entire project from ERRA and accomplish it as a tourist resort.

The prime minister further directed to exclude irrigated land from the project in order to ensure food security in the region.

Earlier, the prime minister was briefed that feasibility study on a Rs 19.5 billion project for the development of New Balakot City as a tourist hub on Design-Build-Finance-Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) mode has been completed by NESPAK and KPMG.

63% residential plots out of the total 6,753 under the proposed project are reserved for allotment to the local affectees whereas the remaining 2,480 residential and 575 commercial plots besides 800 apartments would be auctioned to generate finances for the execution of the project.

The prime minister was informed that primarily it was the responsibility of the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa instead of the federal government to develop New Balakot City.

The KPK government has already acquired land for the purpose. To be executed under Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the tourist resort will include a youth hostel, theme park, camping ground, and a 3-Star hotel.

The project, when completed will not only ease pressure on existing overloaded tourist destinations but would also earn more than Rs 7 billion as a result of expected revenue sharing with the government.

The meeting was attended by the Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati, the Chief Minister KPK Mahmood Khan, MNA Saleh Swati, the KPK Population Minister Syed Ahmed Hussain Shah, the Chairman NDMA Lt General Akhtar Nawaz Satti, and senior officers concerned.

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