Iran one step closer to create ministry of tourism

August 6, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran has moved a step closer to form a ministry of cultural heritage, handicrafts and tourism, as its Guardian Council, which is empowered to vet legislation in the Islamic Republic, gave its approval on Monday.

The Guardian Council approved a bill to form such as ministry in place of the existing Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in a bid to boost the country’s tourism industry, Mehr reported.

The bill had already been agreed upon by lawmakers in the parliament (Majlis), but it lately gained the approval of the Guardian Council, the report said.

For the time being, tourism affairs in Iran is run by the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, whose head is installed by the president and is acted as the vice-president.

Last year, the lawmakers gave approval to the bill for establishing the tourism ministry with 137 votes in favor, 41 against and 1 abstention.

Under provision I of the bill, properties, facilities and human resources already in possession of the organization will be handed over to the new ministry.

Provision II outlines the responsibilities and tasks of the ministry in accordance with the responsibilities of the cultural heritage organization. The government is required to present any changes in duties of the new ministry to the Majlis within a year.

Provision III stresses that any increase in the number of human resources, facilities and financial dealings at the new ministry will be forbidden during the implementation of the sixth development plan.

Lawmakers in favor of the bill believed that the formation of the ministry would revitalize the organization and hold it accountable before the parliament. Lawmakers against the bill said the formation of a new ministry was not a priority and was against the objectives of the fifth and sixth development plans that call for a reduction in the number of ministries.

The CHHTO was founded in 1985, administered and funded by the government. Ali-Asghar Monesan, the incumbent director of the organization, was appointed by President Hassan Rouhani on August 13, 2017.

AFM/MG

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