Thursday, May 28, 2009

Measures discussed for augmenting tourist infrastructure

SFC holds meeting with JKTDC, SKICC officers 
State Finance Commission (SFC) today held a meeting with the officers of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) and Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) to deliberate upon issues pertaining to tourism infrastructure, finances, liabilities, assets and profits registered during the 10th Plan by the said agencies. The meeting was chaired by Chairman, SFC, Dr. Mehmood-ur-Rehman.  
The meeting was attended by Members of the Commission which include Mr. Swami Raj Sharma, Prof. Nissar Ali, Mr. Sonam Dawa, Secretary, SFC Mr. Jeet Lal Gupta and Managing Director, JKTDC, Mr. R. A. Qadri, besides consultants. 
During the deliberations, promotion of new tourist destinations and augmentation of existing tourist infrastructure at health resorts of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg also came up for discussion. 
The meeting was told that main job of the JKTDC is to provide improved accommodation, catering and transport facilities to the tourists visiting the State. The Commission was informed that the Corporation is having an annual turnover of Rs. 18.16 crore with an authorized capital of Rs. 16 crore and paid up capital of Rs. 5 crore.  
It was given out in the meeting that JKTDC is a profit-making corporation and providing of additional financial inputs and upgradation of existing tourist infrastructure can go a long way in making it more profitable. Construction of five-star hotel in Srinagar and various other measures to be taken in hand to attract foreign and domestic visitors was also discussed threadbare.  
The meeting was informed that the gutted Pahalgam Club is being reconstructed at a cost of Rs. 13 crore with all modern facilities in tow. Besides, work on reconstruction of gutted Budshah hotel at the summer capital will also be taken up by June this year. 
Later, the Commission held another meeting with officers of Academy of Art, Culture and Languages and discussed measures for preservation and promotion of cultural heritage in the State. The need for providing more financial help for creating necessary infrastructure required for promoting heritage and culture of all the three regions of the State were also discussed. 
It is pertinent to mention here that J&K SFC is examining various levels of development in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Examining disparities and imbalance between regions and intra-regional disparities and suggesting a policy for equitable distribution of resources based on scientific criteria for balanced regional development comes under the terms of reference of the Commission.