KATHMANDU: With the escalating number of coronavirus infections and an idle economy owing to the lockdown, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has spelled out its concerns over and offered recommendations for survival of tourism industry.
In the press statement issued today, NTB has made three major recommendations to the Government of Nepal to be considered in the forthcoming budget and programs for the fiscal year 2077/078, which comprises Job Retention Fund for tourism workforce worth Rs 20 billion, financial support to the tourism enterprises and policy interventions.
The Board has listed requirements in order to fulfil the criteria for job retention fund, which includes testimonials such as last three months’ salary deposited in a bank, PAN registration certificate, (Tax Deducted at Source) TDS payment proof or Social Security Fund (SSF).
Likewise, the board recommends financial support through alternatives such as Interest Rate Reduction (at base rate or base rate +1%).
It also contemplates on options to provide loan repayments deferment for the last three years, a one-year facility for Interest Capitalization, facility for additional loan against existing collateral up to 2.5 million for each firm, rebate on electricity charge and waiver on electricity demand charges, among others, to minimize the burden of tourism enterprises.
Finally, the Board’s recommendation regarding policy intervention introduces mandatory Leave Travel Concession (LTC) or Tourism Travel Leave provision for all the civil servants, security personnel, and employees of corporations, authorities, semi-government organisations, banking sector and corporate sectors — either through direct cash amount support or through income tax rebate on the expense amount designated for LTC.
It also asks for the possibility of providing a deferment of tax payment for next 6 months for tourism entrepreneurs.
The policy intervention also recommends on making contribution to tourism promotion and infrastructure development a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenses, with the necessary provision in Industrial Enterprise Act and Nepal Rastra Bank circular.