May 18, 2020 | Investopaper
Nepal Tourism Board has suggested three measures to save the country’s tourism sector from the effects of Corona. A report has been submitted to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation with suggestions on what measures can be taken immediately to protect the tourism sector from the serious impact of COVID19. The report, which includes recommendations, outlines three types of measures to protect the region from the current epidemic.
The first is to provide relief to the employees and workers involved in the tourism sector, the second is to provide financial relief and facilities to the tourism entrepreneurs and the third is to make some immediate policy reforms for the immediate revival of the tourism sector. Under the first measure, a program of relief package of Rs. 20 billion has been included for the professional security of human resources (employees and tourism workers) working in this sector. In order to get that relief, proof of working in the tourism sector will have to be provided.
Evidence of last 3 months salary deposited in the bank, PAN registration certificate, proof of income tax payment and any of the proof of having social security fund are included. The Board is of the view that if this package is made available, it will help in the livelihood of the employees and workers working in the tourism sector and prevent their migration.
In order to provide financial assistance and concessions to the tourism entrepreneurs, the interest rate of the loan taken by the entrepreneurs should be reduced and the interest rate should not be increased to 1 percent in the base rate or base rate. Even though the Nepal Rastra Bank has decided to reduce the previous interest rate by 2 percent, it has been pointed out that additional interest should be reduced by giving special priority to tourism. There are issues of rescheduling the loan repayment period by three years, providing one year for capitalization of interest, providing additional loan of up to Rs 2.5 million on the basis of existing collateral and waiving electricity tariff and waiving electricity demand charges.
For the immediate revival of the tourism sector, government, public bodies, semi-government, non-government and private sector employees are required to travel to various destinations in the country with a fixed amount and duration for the promotion of domestic tourism. It is also projected that the trade will be around Rs 53 billion from domestic visits. Similarly, the issue of investing in tourism infrastructure under corporate social responsibility should be addressed through the Industrial Business Act and Nepal Rastra Bank circular. Similarly, the report has recommended to the government to extend the tax payment period to six months.