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New civil aviation policy approved by Govt

27 March, 2019

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The Federal Cabinet Tuesday approved a new revolutionary civil aviation policy to pro-actively promote tourism and give boost to aviation industry in the country.

Briefing media persons about the decisions made in the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Minster for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said traveling to the tourist resorts of Pakistan will be facilitated by reducing expenditures.

Fawad said facilities, including reduction in traveling expenses and cuts in taxes, worth Rs 3.8 billion would be offered to promote tourism and aviation sector. He said that the cabinet also discussed to start helicopter and 40-seat plane service to the tourist sites in the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Swat.

The minister announced that passenger airlines in Pakistan will be allowed to import airplanes which are 18-years-old compared to the previous limit of 12 years while cargo planes up to 30 years old, could be imported.

New recommendations with regards to aviation also included charges on flight kitchens being abolished, and a recommendation to reduce taxes on domestic routes, he added. The minister also announced a special initiative by CAA of paying up to Rs 400,000 in fees for women to attract them for becoming pilots.

Chaudhry Fawad said that the government has decided to end the country’s open sky policy, which proved to be disastrous for PIA. Most of the profitable routes were given to international airlines which led to huge loss for PIA, he said, adding that all agreements with international airlines would be reviewed.

He said a new visa regime has already been introduced under the Prime Minister’s vision to promote tourism. He said under a pilot project E-Visa facility was being provided to five countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.

He said people from 58 countries could get visa on arrival, while 170 other countries will be given E-visa facility soon.

The minister said that foreigners will no more need to have no objection certificate (NOC) to move across the country. He said that the cabinet also approved Rs 2 billion 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 by November this year. He said in order to ensure the required arrangements and facilitate the Sikh pilgrims, a 10-member Pakistan Gurdawara Parbandhak Committee has been constituted.

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