Nepal Tourism Board Government plan to survive COVID-19
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has made three major recommendations to the Government of Nepal for the survival of Nepal’s Tourism Industry during and post COVID 19.
These major recommendations highlight:
1) Rs. 20 billion Job Retention Fund for Tourism Workforce,
2) Financial Support to the tourism enterprises
3) Policy Intervention. As per the first recommendation, tourism workers should present some testimonials like the last three-month salary deposited in a bank, PAN registration certificate, TDS payment proof, or Social Security Fund (SSF).
The second recommendation is about Interest Rate Reduction (base rate or base rate +1%). Tourism Industry requires more preference as it is reeling under a financial crisis.
Likewise, there should be loan repayments deferment for the last 3 years. There should be a one-year facility for Interest Capitalization. The facility for an additional loan against existing collateral is recommended (25 lakh each firm).
There should be a rebate on electricity charges and a waiver on electricity demand charges.
Regarding Policy Intervention, with an aim of keeping the industry afloat through domestic tourism, it mainly introduces mandatory Leave Travel Concession (LTC) or Tourism Travel Leave provision for all the civil servants, security personnel, employees of corporations, authorities, semi-government organizations, banking sector, and corporate sectors etc. either through direct cash amount support or through income tax rebate on the expense amount designated for LTC.
With this provision, it is assumed that the movement of 1.7 million people can make Rs. 53 billion expenditure on domestic travel. Another recommendation for policy intervention is that contribution to tourism promotion and infrastructure development should be considered as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenses with the necessary provision in the Industrial Enterprise Act and Nepal Rastra Bank circular.
There should also be a deferment of tax payment for the next 6 months for tourism entrepreneurs. Nepal Tourism Board believes that if these major recommendations for the survival of the tourism industry are incorporated in the forthcoming budget and programs of Government of Nepal for the fiscal year 2077/078, Nepal’s tourism industry can survive this global pandemic and revive in the aftermaths.