KATHMANDU, June 25: Minister for Finance, Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, has said that the tourism sector is the crucial basis of country' speedy economic growth, employment creation and foreign currency earning.
Minister Khatiwada on the behalf of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli responded the queries raised by lawmakers on topics related to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Secretariat of National Planning Commission under the Appropriation Bill in today's meeting of the House of Representatives.
Saying the government has forwarded different program keeping tourism infrastructure development in priority for the development of the tourism sector, he said that activities to upgrade and expansion of Tribhuvan International Airport have been forwarded.
The Finance Minister further said that upgrading task of Tribhuvan International Airport has reached the final phase and the airport can be run round the clock from this June. He informed the House that works are underway in order to complete the construction of Pokhara Regional International Airport within two years and activities are on to construct Nijgadh International Airport at Public-Private concept.
Finance Minister Khatiwada said that initiatives were underway to remove Nepal from the blacklist as the European Union has put Nepal's aviation sector as the blacklist in view of aviation safety and activities have been forwarded in order to minimize the possibility of aviation incidents by providing pre-information about the weather of a week. He added that arrangement of sufficient amount of budget has been made for reconstruction of quake-damaged heritages enlisted in the list of World Heritage site and construction of Ranipokhari and Dharahara has been accelerated.
FM Khatiwada over the issue of NPC's Secretariat clarified that the NPC was necessary for various activities including judicious development as per government's goal, coordination between three-tier of governments and systematic development.
Saying it was necessary to increase NPC's effectiveness, he urged not to raise a question about meaning and autonomy of the NPC. He further said that further discussion was necessary as national pride projects have not got expected achievements. Finance Minister further informed that the NPC has been carrying out activities as Think Tank for different works including the development of the smart city and urban development, adding the NPC would play the role of facilitator by coordinating with states and local levels in the formulation of plans in days ahead.