ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfi Bokhari, dismissed reports that the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) was being shut down, saying that the government is making changes to the organisation in a bid to restructure it.
"We‘re making changes in PTDC as a step towards restructuring it in accordance with global best practices & NOT shutting it down," he tweeted on Thursday.
The prime minister's aide said that 706 employees had been hired in the PTDC on political basis from 2011 to 2013, which had made it a "stagnant organisation running on loss".
Bokhari said that the corporation was faced with an overall loss of Rs650mn and annual losses of Rs300-350mn. He further revealed that the PTDC's motels had posted losses of Rs250-300mn.
He said that during the restructuring process, the PTDC would continue to work as a federal implementation body under the National Tourism Coordination Board.
Bokhari told critics that there was no use of criticising the move as the PTDC "is finally on its way to becoming a more efficient org with better workforce & improved policy making".
The PTDC, through a circular issued on Wednesday, had ordered the closure of three subsidiaries, motels, and terminated the services of employees with immediate effect citing 'irreparable losses'.
The terminated employees have threatened to stage protests against what they say is 'an illegal act' of the federal government.
“Over 300 employees of the corporation’s three subsidiaries have been laid off by the federal government citing the economic mess caused by coronavirus, which is unacceptable to us and we will launch a protest drive against this order,” Tariq Zaman, a leader of the employees, had told reporters in Balakot on Thursday.
A group of terminated employees told reporters that over 300 employees, including 150 from Hazara division, were laid off on the PTDC managing director's orders on Wednesday.