• Federal cabinet approves new civil aviation policy to promote tourism

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    Federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan is in progress in Islamabad. File Photo Federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan is in progress in Islamabad.

    The federal cabinet has approved a new civil aviation policy to promote tourism and give boost to aviation industry in the country.

    Briefing newsmen about the decisions made in the cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad today, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said traveling to the tourist resorts of Pakistan will be facilitated by reducing expenditures.

    The Information Minister said facilities, including reduction in traveling expenses and cuts in taxes, worth four billion rupees will be offered to promote tourism. He said there will be no tax on domestic aerial travel. He said the cabinet also discussed to start helicopter and 40-seater planes service to the tourist sites in the country.

    The Minister said open sky policy in Pakistan is being withdrawn, and foreigners will no more need to have no objection certificate to move in the country.

    Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the cabinet decided to review agreements with all international airlines. He said women will be encouraged to become pilots and Civil Aviation Authority will contribute up to four hundred thousand rupees in fee for the purpose. He said the duration of license of pilots has been increased to five years.

    He said a new visa regime has already been introduced under the Prime Minister's visision to promote tourism. He said E-Visa facility is being provided to five countries, including the Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. He said people from fifty-eight countries can get visa on arrival, while 170 other countries will be given E-visa facility.

    Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the cabinet also approved two billion rupees Ramzan package to provide relief to people during the holy month.

    Speaking about Kartarpur Corridor, the Minister informed media persons that the corridor will be opened for the Sikh community to travel to the Kartarpur shrine. He said in order to ensure the required arrangements and facilitate the Sikh pilgrims, a new 10-member Pakistan Gurdawar Parbandhak Committee has been constituted.

    Answering a question about opening Sharda Temple corridor in Azad Kashmir, the Minister said we will for Indian request about it.

    Commenting on the Supreme Court's decision of granting six-weeks bail to Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds, the Minister said the government respects the court decision.

    The Minister welcomed the court decision of not allowing Nawaz Sharif to go abroad during the bail period. He, however, said that the government will review the matter of placing Nawaz Sharif on exit control list.

    He said the government has already assured the best medical facility to Nawaz Sharif on his demand and satisfaction. The Minister said the decision of removing Shahbaz Sharif's from ECL will be challenged in the High Court.

    To a question, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the government is ready to sit with the opposition on every issue but it will not compromise on the process of accountability as PTI contested election on the anti-corruption slogan.

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