The allocation in the proposed budget is Tk262 crore more than the budget of fiscal 2019-20, which was Tk3,426 crore
The government has proposed Tk3,668 crore for the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism from the national budget for 2020-21 fiscal year, with a view to establishing an international standard aviation system in the country as well as turning the tourism industry into a developed and modern economic sector.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the announcement while placing the national budget proposal for 2020-21 fiscal year, at the parliament on Thursday afternoon.
The allocation in the proposed budget is at Tk262 crore more than the budget of fiscal 2019-20, which was Tk3,426 crore.
However, chartered aircraft and helicopters will become costlier as the government increased supplementary duty to 30%, up from 25% in the proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Duty has also been increased by 5%.
In his speech, the finance minister told the parliament that the government had taken various steps for the infrastructural development of airports and ensuring easy and safe air travel for passengers to facilitate fast and standard international and domestic aviation.
In addition, the government has also taken various steps to turn the tourism industry into a developed and modern economic sector.
As part of upgrading the standard and scope of passenger and cargo handling capacity of our international airports, the construction work of the third terminal at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport is underway, and the work to upgrade Cox’s Bazar and Saidpur Airports into international airports is progressing fast, the minister said in his speech.
At the same time, plans have also been drawn to build the Khan Jahan Ali Airport in Bagerhat, and expand and refurbish the Jessore, Saidpur, Barishal, and Rajshahi’s Shah Makhdum Airports.
Besides, the government also plans to establish an international standard Civil Aviation Institute in the country, expand the aircraft fleet of national flag carrier Bangladesh Biman Airlines, increase its weekly frequencies to different profitable routes, and expand or reestablish its services on high demand routes, such as Guangzhou, Chennai, Colombo, Tokyo, Toronto, Bahrain, Sharjah, New York, and Salalah, according to the draft budget.
Exclusive tourism sector
In the national budget draft, the government said there are plans to establish exclusive tourism areas for foreign tourists in locations that have high tourism potentials, develop eco-tourism parks keeping the natural beauty intact, build island-based tourism parks and hotels, and establish international standard tourism centers with all facilities for incoming tourists.
Besides, projects have also been taken up to modernize and enhance the capacity of existing establishments of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation, and for expanding modern tourism facilities in new locations.
“The government will put 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,” the budget draft said.
CAAB fixes domestic airfare
Apart from this, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has fixed Tk2,500 as the minimum fare for all domestic routes and TK3500 as the highest ticket price for the Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar route.
However, individual airlines can also fix their seat fares according to the seat classifications.
The decision was taken during a meeting between the private airlines and Biman Bangladesh on Thursday.