PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Administration department has raised objections over the legislative draft of ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority’ asking concerned authorities to retain current staff as provincial government is not in a position to hire surplus employees.

There is no provision of retaining the current staff of the KP tourism Corporation, though, the draft says in transition period all the work will be carried out by the current employees due to which uncertainty prevails among the TCKP employees. They have already warned of protests, if they were not provided job security.

The draft of asserts that all the assets of Corporation and Directorate would be transfer to the newly formed authority however; it lacks mention of employees transfer. The KP administration department has suggested that the authority should be run on current employees.

The administrative department has further recommended that the authority cannot be provided with powers which are in contrast with other provincial departments as all the departments should work within their set parameters. Therefore, the administration departments further directed to seek inputs on the legislative draft from Home department, Industries and Mines, Treasury and forest department of the province.

The administration department in its recommendations also directed to place an offer to Tourism Corporation, tourist services, Pak Austrian Institute of Hotel Management, and culture department employees for merger in the authority, however, if the offer was declined, they will be considered as a surplus.

Similarly, the draft law  has the provision for two boards – Board of Directors and Provincial Tourism Strategy board – but the difference that responsibilities of the both the board are not properly specified.  The establishment says that even if Provincial Tourism Strategy board is superior to the director general and board directors but in this regard, there is no provision in the draft. The establishment department has directed concerned authorities make things clear.

As the provincial government looks to turn the province into a tourist hub, it has decided to set up a separate tourism authority under its tourism laws while raising a dedicated tourist police force. The current Directorate of culture and Tourism Corporation will be merged into the new authority.

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