Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Thursday chaired a series of Board meetings of the corporations and societies of the Tourism Department which included JKTDC, J&K State Cable Car Corporation and SKICC.Financial Commissioner, Finance Department, Mr. A. K. Mehta, Principal Secretary, Tourism Department, Mr. Navin Kumar Chaudhary, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mr. Nisar Ahmad Wani, Director (Planning) and the Director (Finance) of the Tourism Department attended the meeting. MD JKTDC, Mr. Asgar Hussain, MD J&K CCC, Mr. Shamim Ahmad and Director SKICC, Mr. Javed Bakshi, presented their respective agendas before the Board of Directors for consideration and approval.Mr. Ganai, who is in-charge of the Tourism Department, laid emphasis on completing all pending statement of accounts and annual audits within the stipulated timelines as per the format notified by the Finance Department.During the BoD meeting of Cable Car Corporation, Principal Secretary Tourism informed the meeting that the Central Government has in principle agreed to provide viability gap funding for two new cable car projects each for Jammu & Kashmir divisions to boost footfall of tourists in the existing and new tourist destinations. Accordingly, MD Cable Car was directed to identify four tourist and pilgrim destinations in J&K and revert to the Board with feasibility reports. While being briefed about the status of Jammu Ropeway, the Chairman advised MD Cable Car to obtain safety certification from the competent authority and undertake trial runs for at least two months before starting commercial operations.The commercial operations of Gulmarg Cable Car and CSR funding were also discussed in the meeting. FC (Finance) advised the MD to improve the ambience of Gulmarg Cable Car properties and create world-class restroom and parking facilities to facilitate the tourists. The Board appreciated the introduction of online ticketing, provided it is fool-proof and does away with the waiting lines of tourists for a gondola ride.
During the Board of Governor’s meeting of SKICC, the Director was asked to submit complete financial status, creation details and clear roadmap to run the International Convention Centre. It was further decided that a post of Company Secretary shall be created and services of a new Chartered Account hired. It was also decided that an officer of the level of FA/CAO shall be posted by the Finance Department. The Board also agreed to co-opt Director (Finance) and Director (Planning) of the Tourism Department as members of Board of Governors.Placing high priority on maintaining financial discipline, FC (Finance) and Principal Secretary (Tourism) expressed displeasure over the delay in holding of AGMs and Board meetings of Cable Car Corporation and the SKICC. Both the organizations were directed to convene Board meetings every quarter and also clear backlog of AGMs. They also asked the MD and Director SKICC to fix responsibility within their respective organizations for the inordinate delay in holding of Board meetings and AGMs. While reviewing the performance of J&K Tourism Development Corporation, the Board observed that JKTDC has premier properties which need to be run in a professional manner to become a profit-making organization.On the issue of revision of rent of the Corporation properties rented out to the Estates and Home Departments aimed at improving internal revenue generation, the Board decided that FC (Finance) shall examine the proposal and submit his recommendations in the next BoD meeting. The Board also agreed to the proposal to include GST in the billing processes of JKTDC.The Board also advised MD JKTDC to make a separate presentation on future policies to be adopted for making JKTDC properties viable and profit earning units, after studying successful outsourcing models in vogue in public sector undertakings outside of the State, Government of India guidelines and General Financial Rules on the subject.On the issue of running the Civil Secretariat canteen on subsidized rates, the Board decided to formulate a Price Fixation Committee which shall propose a moderate hike in the rate of food items and consequent grant-in-aid from the Government as subsidy.The Board of Directors decided to follow all extant rules notified by the Government from time-to-time while making fresh recruitment in the Corporation.The JKTDC Board was apprised about various steps being taken by the JKTDC to increase revenue generation as well as personnel management issues. The Board also approved the grant of 7th pay commission scales to the employees of JKTDC prospectively.Several other proposals were considered by the Board of Directors and decisions taken.