ISLAMABAD    -    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced to open Governor House Nathiagali for public.

In a tweet in which he also shared the video of the Governor House Nathiagali, the Prime Minister said these colonial symbols which cost millions of rupees annually to the taxpayers in maintenance, are now going to make money for the government.

Governor House Nathiagali located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was constructed in 1923 and spans an area of 76 kanals of land.

Earlier this week, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has handed over 169 rest houses of different departments in the province to the tourism department to promote tourism and increase tourist facilities.

A notification issued here said that 169 rest houses previously used by government officials only were handed over to the tourism department on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan to help boost tourism and upgrade facilities for tourists in the province.

Among them are Governor’s House, Karnak House, Chief Minister’s House, Speaker’s House and Inspector General of Police’s House in the scenic Galiyat area.

The government has handed over the rest houses earlier used by officials of the departments concerned only to the tourism department after the provincial cabinet decided earlier this month about the transfer of their management and human resource to it.

The facilities will be open to tourists after renovation

The rest houses of the Communication and Works, Irrigation, Local Government, Police, and Forest Departments were handed over to the Tourism Department.

The notification said the rest houses would be renovated and opened to tourists for stay.

The officials said the tourists would book rooms in rest houses using the official website of the tourism department.

They said online booking would help facilitate tourists intending to stay in those rest houses.

The government had announced a new visa policy in Jan this year to encourage tourism in the country and open it to the world. The policy relaxed visa requirements for 48 countries and increased the number of countries covered by the visa on arrival facility from 24 to 50.

Meanwhile, the prime minister chaired a meeting to review progress on establishment of state-of-the-art University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies in the PM’s House.

Matters regarding the establishment of National Centres of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Artificial Intelligence and allied technologies and major National Human Resources Development program were also discussed.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Science & Technology Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry, Chairman Task Force on S&T Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, Secretary Science & Technology and senior officials.

Minister for Science & Technology briefed the Prime Minister about various initiatives being taken by the ministry to promote scientific and technical education, encouraging research and development activities and establishing effective linkages between various government organizations and industry in the field of research in science & technology.

Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, while briefing the Prime Minister about the progress made by the Task Force on S&T informed that it has prepared a comprehensive Knowledge Economy Policy document.

Moreover, a document on improving Ease of Doing Business has also been prepared and will be shared with the Board of Investment.

He said that the Task Force was also helping to establish effective linkages between FBR and NADRA in the area of tax collection.

Discussing the strengthening of technical training programs, it was noted that there was a need to further strengthen coordination among the relevant organizations involved in technical education and skill development.

The prime minister appreciated the efforts being made by Ministry of Science & Technology in promoting scientific and technical education and research.

The prime minister directed that the aspect of value addition in the sphere of agriculture should be accorded priority.

He also approved a proposal presented by Minister for Science & Technology and Chairman HEC to select top 15 universities of the country after a due process and accord them elite university status.

He also directed that the proposal to allow universities undertake commercial projects, based on their research products, should be examined.

A national level scholarship scheme for the deserving students was also discussed during the meeting.

The prime minister observed that the scholarship schemes need to be integrated and linked with Ehsas Program so as to enable deserving and competent students complete their studies. 

 

The Prime Minister also directed that industries should be encouraged to play greater role in promoting research and development activities.