Director General, Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) Raza Ali Habib on Sunday hoped to increase the annual revenue target of GDA up to Rs2.5 billion in the next two financial years by 2023 for achieving the self-reliance to support the local development. The government wants to make GDA a financially independent body that does not seek help from anyone for its expenses, the Director General, GDA said. Raza said that “We spend Rs350 million on current institutional expenditure of GDA, including salaries of employees and other expenses.” Thus, in the fiscal year 2020, GDA will go to a surplus of 550 million and similarly, “We are taking new steps for further financial autonomy and growth of GDA.” The Director General said that in the year 2019, the annual revenue of GDA was Rs360 million which increased to Rs900 million in the last financial year 2020 and also was about 150 percent revenue growth. Responding to a question, he said that two plans was finalized to increase the GDA’s annual budget up to 2.5 billion by 2023 over the next two years, including the establishment of a five-star hotel in Nathiagali and the installation of a new state-of-the-art ‘Australian Chair Lift in Ayubia’. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province would have the first five star hotel in Nathiagali at a cost of Rs3 billion with 50 percent jobs to be provided to the local people. Senior official further said that in this regard training would be provided to the local youth for the hotel and hospitality industry one year in advance. He said that the initial talks for the said five star hotel were held in 2012 and eight years later it was implemented in 2021. In this regard, GDA sought bids from about 30 companies and each company paid a bid of Rs34.5 million and finally three companies were scrutinized, he said. In the end, Baron Group of Companies was assigned to build the hotel on merit. Raza said that the Baron Group of Companies will pay about Rs850 million over the next 10 years to GDA in the form of a land lease, the largest offer from either side. He said that after the construction of this hotel, GDA would earn an annual revenue of about Rs1 billion, which would enable further development work in Galiyat. The Director General said that in response to another question regarding Ayubia Chairlift, he said that Ayubia Chairlift is about 58 years old and a new Australian-designed elevator from Ayubia to Dunga Galli will be started soon. The ‘Manal Group’ has now been selected on merit for the Ayubia Chairlift project, once the lift is operational, the annual revenue of Ayubia Chairlift will be around Rs940 million to GDA. This will usher in a new era of development in the region. He said that the present contractor of Ayubia Chair Lift is paying only Rs50 million per annum for chairlift which is very little. Answering another question, he said that GDA is also moving towards the starting of work on a project like Integrated Tourism Zone (ITZs) soon. In this regard, Expression of Interest has been sought from six firms including one Turkish and one Qatari firm, he said. He said that the Thandiani Integrated Tourism Zone will be completed in the next two years at a cost of Rs2 billion. The Integrated Tourism Zone will promote modern tourism in Galiyat and give a new dimension to tourism in the region. The tourism zone will provide modern facilities to tourists under modern tourism and business principles such as ‘One Window Operation or One-stop shop’,which will further boost tourism in the region. Raza Habib informed that in the first phase of Nathia Gali Bakot Road, work on 6 km road will be started in next two months from Nathiagali Zero Point to the mountain stream of ‘Gharang Khas,’ the completion of this road will be completed by next season.