According to a World Bank report released on Saturday, the Punjab Tourism for Economic Growth Project (PTEGP) aims to increase the tourism potential of Punjab, although it has been postponed for more than two years, but has not yet started.
The project was approved by the World Bank in March 2017. After two years of inefficiency, it has already issued 8% of the total loan of $50 million. In view of the government’s priority to promote tourism development, especially considering the potential of the industry to stimulate economic growth, PTEGP is the most potential of the tourism development plan.
Background studies have shown that sites selected under the project have the potential to place Pakistan, especially Punjab, on international tourism sites, especially Buddhist visitors and expatriates from South Asia. Kartarpur is the first site of the project and is now regionally and internationally recognized.
PMU’s main job vacancies, and about 60% of project funds have been allocated to civil works, but many delays have not yet started. At the beginning of the project, the Punjab Government agreed that the World Bank, with the assistance of the Ministry of Planning and Development, under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Engineering, established priority roads and site-assisted infrastructure, but due to coordination and bureaucratic issues. Delays occurred during the planning and development phases and these activities did not occur.
Therefore, the project has been in an unstable state since June 2018. The delay in the work of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to develop museum and site management plans has exacerbated this situation.
Plans for the Lahore Museum, Kartas Raj, Rohri Sahib and Sacha Sadu Sahib are expected to be completed in September to carry out construction and livelihood activities at selected locations. However, due to delays in the internal acquisitions of UNESCO, these plans will be completed in December. In addition, seven tracks of immediate construction will be given priority in September.