Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed an allocation of Tk 3688 crore for Civil Aviation and Tourism ministry for the next fiscal 2020-21.
Aiming at establishing world class aviation system as well as turning the tourism industry into a developed and modern economic sector, the announcement was made while placing the budget in the Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday.
The allocation in the proposed budget is Taka 271 crore more than the revised budget of 2019-20 fiscal that was Taka 3,417 crore. The proposed budget of the fiscal 2019-20 for Civil Aviation and Tourism ministry was Taka 3,426 crore.
Of the total Taka 3,688 crore, Taka 3,633 crore will be spent under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) and Taka 55 crore under non-development sector.
In his speech, the finance minister said the government has taken effective steps to build a world class civil aviation system to ensure safe, efficient and dependable fast passenger and goods transport.
“As part of the plan to improve the standard and scope of passenger and cargo handling capacity of our international airports, the work to build the third terminal at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport is underway,” he said.
Moreover, he said, the work to upgrade Cox’s Bazar and Saidpur airports into international airports is progressing fast.
The finance minister said plans have also been taken to build the Khan Jahan Ali Airport in Bagerhat as well as expand and refurbish the Jashore, Saidpur, Barishal, and Rajshahi Shah Makhdum Airports.
Besides, he said, an international standard Civil Aviation Institute would be established in the country,
Mentioning that the government has a plan to further expand the existing fleet of national flag carrier Bangladesh Biman, Kamal said efforts have been continuing in increasing Biman’s flight frequencies to different profitable routes and expand or resume its connectivity to high demand destinations like Guangzhou, Chennai, Colombo, Tokyo, Toronto, Bahrain, Sharjah, New York and Sarjah.
About the Tourism sector that has been hard-hit amid the global lockdown due to the deadly pandemic, the finance minister said various steps have been taken to turn the tourism industry into a developed and modern economic sector following the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“The government will put on sincere efforts to ensure that the tourism industry of our country recovers from the severe loss that it suffered due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
He said plans have been made to establish exclusive tourism zones for foreign travelers, develop eco-tourism parks keeping the natural beauty intact, build island-based tourism parks and hotels, and establish international standard leisure centers with all facilities for inbound tourists. Besides, the finance minister said, projects have been taken for modernisation and capacity enhancement of existing establishments of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and for expanding modern tourism facilities in new locations.