PAC recommends enhancement of funds to DAs

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JAMMU: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Jammu and Kashmir, Legislative Assembly today recommended for enhancement in the allocation of funds to all the Development Authorities (DAs) of the state. 

The Committee, which met here under the Chairmanship of MLA, Rafi Ahmad Mir, discussed and reviewed over all functioning of the Tourism department, besides CAG’s audit para pertaining to the department.

The members  Mr. Vijay Bakaya, Mr. Bashir Ahmad Magray, Mr. Kaful-ur-Rehman, Mr. Niza-mu-Din Bhat, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain, Mr. Vikar Rasool Wani, Syeed Bhasrat Ahmad Bukhari and Mrs. Bimla Luthra suggested for creating  Public Conveniences along National Highway (NH) and tourists destinations of the State to facilitate the passengers as well as tourists. The panel also suggested for establishment of view points on the NH. 

The Committee directed the officers of tourism department to closely pursue the environment and forest clearances besides other necessary formalities required for establishment of proposed Gandola projects in the State. 

The panel desired that the work on the Gandola projects proposed for Patnitop and Ashmuqam shall be expedited as these offer a grand mix of tourism potential including leisure, adventure, pilgrimage to the tourist. 

Threadbare discussion was also held on CAG’s Audit Para pertaining to the tourism department and after satisfactory reply by the department, the Committee dropped it.  

The panel appreciated the overall working of the tourism department, however it stressed for more improvement. 

The Committee directed the officers of tourism department to furnish detailed information   about the number of tourists who visited to newly developed tourist destinations of the State during the current year, for the scrutiny of the Members of the Committee.

The Commissioner/Secretary, Tourism Mr. Attal Duloo briefed the Committee about the achievements and activities of the Development Authorities. He said that the main purpose to establish these authorities was to focus on development. He said that the budget allocation of each Development Authority is Rs.2.30 crore including Rs.70 lakh revenue component. Mr. Duloo said that the department has proposed for additional allocation of funds to all the Authorities for making visible impact in the areas coming under each of these. He said that the assets of the department are being maintained   properly from the returns received from out sourcing these. 

Earlier, the Commissioner/Secretary, General Administration Department Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad also briefed the panel about the importance of these Development Authorities.    

Responding to the quarry put forth by the Members about filing up of vacancies in the DAs , Sheikh Mushtaq assured that the postings for the same would be made soon. 

Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Development Corporation (JKTDC) Mr. Satish Nehru informed the meeting that wayside facilities are available on National Highway.

Among others, Principal Account General, J&K AG’s office, Dr. S. C Pandey, Director General Accounts and Treasuries Mr. Ravi Mangotra, Director Tourism Kashmir, Mr. Talat Parveez, Director Tourism Jammu, Chief Executive Officers of Pahalgam Development Authority, Kokernag Development Authority, Gulmarg Development Authority, Wular Lake Development Authority and other concerned officers of tourism, JKTDC besides senior officers of Assembly Secretariat attended the meeting.

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