Kathmandu, May 17
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has made three major recommendations to the government for the survival of the country’s tourism Industry during and post COVID-19.
Among the three recommendations the first one has urged the government to establish a retention fund worth Rs 20 billion for tourism workers. The recommendation states that the concerned workers must present some testimonials like confirmation that their salaries for the last three months were deposited in a bank, Permanent Account Number registration certificate and Social Security Fund (SSF) registration proof.
Meanwhile, the second recommendation deals with interest rate reduction. “The tourism industry requires more preference as it is reeling under a financial crisis. There should be deferment of loan repayments of last three years and a one-year facility must be provided for interest capitalisation,” reads the recommendation. It has also mentioned about the facility for additional loans worth Rs 2.5 million for each firm against existing collateral. The tourism board has also stressed on rebate on electricity charge and waiver on electricity demand charges.
Similarly, the third recommendation is regarding policy intervention. With an aim to keep the industry afloat through domestic tourism, NTB has recommended the government to introduce mandatory Leave Travel Concession (LTC) or Tourism Travel Leave provision for all the civil servants, security personnel, employees of corporations, authorities, semi-government organisations, banking sector and corporate sector.
NTB has stated that the government should implement the LTC by providing direct cash support or through income tax rebate on the expenses. “If this recommendation is implemented it is estimated that there will be movement of 1.7 million people which can help the tourism industry earn around Rs 53 billion through domestic travel,” the recommendation states.
The tourism board has also recommended the government to arrange tourism promotion and infrastructure development as corporate social responsibility expenses with the necessary provision in the Industrial Enterprise Act and Nepal Rastra Bank circular.
There should also be deferment of tax payment for next six months for tourism entrepreneurs, the recommendation adds.
“NTB believes that if these major recommendations for the survival of the tourism industry are incorporated in the forthcoming budget and programmes of the government for the next fiscal year then the country’s tourism industry can survive this global pandemic and revive in the aftermath,” reads the statement issued today by NTB while publishing its recommendations for the government.