MIRPUR (AJK) - AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Khan pledged on Tuesday that his government will encourage the investors to promote tourism in the State.

Chairing a meeting regarding promotion of tourism in AJK here at Prime Minister's House, the PM said the legislation would be made regarding lease of land, formation of state tourism executive committee, tourists guide and hotel management. He said that in the aftermath of the 13th Constitutional Amendment, Tourism sector has become a subject of the state government.

To bring the amendments in rules of business, a meeting would be convened after Eidul Azha, he informed. He said that Minister for tourism is working hard for the promotion of the sector in the state. "Due to various reasons, decisions are not implemented, which always leave a negative impact on investors," he regretted.

He termed the prevailing situation critical mainly due to rising unemployment, saying that tourism promotion would turn out to be a remedy to cure the situation.

He claimed that his government has made recruitment purely on merit, which has boosted the youth confidence in the government. He said the Cabinet meeting would be called to finalise the tourism policy. Talking on environmental issues, the prime minister said that government would also take steps to protect environment.

"Cleanliness would be focused, and use of the plastic bags have been banned and these decisions would be implemented strictly,," he said.

He said, for the provision of facilities to the tourists at tourists spots "Al-Akhuwat" an NGO, will provide loans to the unemployed youth, and a facility of guest houses will also be provided.

He said to regulate the tourism , tourism regulatory policy would also be made. Senior officials of various nation building departments also attended the meeting.

Earlier, the government had said that the political leadership was determined to transform Azad Kashmir into a modern and developed state.

For the purpose, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan highlighted the importance of the key economic sectors including an all-weather modern road network, macro and micro hydropower projects, promotion of tourism in all parts of Azad Kashmir, development of mines and minerals sectors, floriculture, horticulture and telecommunications.

The AJK President expressed these views while talking to newly appointed Chief Secretary to Azad Kashmir, Mian Waheeduddudin, who called on him at the Jammu and Kashmir House on Friday.

The president congratulated the chief secretary on his appointment. "Azad Kashmir has pristine beauty, no doubt. But in promoting tourism, the focus would be on sound infrastructure as well as foolproof safety and security of tourists," President Masood said.

He underlined a need for investment in skill development and participation of the private sector in economic activities in Azad Kashmir to help enhance and expand job opportunities for youth and pave the way for growth of businesses.

"The private sector and skill development together will create an environment for assimilation of a new generation of workforce and professionals coming out of the educational system in Azad Kashmir," he said.

The president said that now that the development budget of Azad Kashmir had been increased substantially, the emphasis would be on streamlining the procedures for expedited implementation of various projects so that tangible results could be demonstrated within the yearly development budget cycle and lay the foundation for multi-year projects.

He said that Azad Kashmir is moving to a higher platform of economic performance and it was the vision of the leadership to transform Azad Kashmir into a model state, in collaboration with the government of Pakistan.

The pressing issues like water scarcity, quality education and universal access to health to all segments of society need to be prioritised and resolved expeditiously, he said.

The chief secretary said that during his tenure he had worked with the Azad Kashmir government to take it to a higher level of productivity in all the fields.