Losses Of Tourist Transporters Pile Up As Vehicles Stand Idle In Garage, Over Seven Thousand Workers Affected

Protracted prohibitory order has hit hard the tourists’ vehicles entrepreneurs. The monthly business of Rs. 70 million has abruptly stopped, affecting badly some 7,000 staff including drivers and helpers.

President of the Nepal Tourists Vehicles Association, Ram Hari Sharma, informed that more than 2,700 vehicles including buses, microbuses and cars to carry tourists used to carry tourists daily which made aggregate monthly turnover of around Rs, 70 million per month during tourist season.

However, with the enforcement of prohibitory orders, the vehicles are now stalled in the garage and the business has halted entirely.

There are more than 7,000 staff working for different travel agencies, said Sharma, adding, a few of the owners are providing 50 percent salary but most of them are barely getting for food and rent only.

He said that the association is optimistic that government will soon implement their demand of waivers and concessions on layers of taxes and facility of refinancing their hefty loan. He anxiously added that otherwise worse is looming ahead of the entrepreneurs.

Director of Nepal Tourism Board, Mani Raj Lamichhane, informed that board has worked for deferment of the loss of the enterprises of tourism sector for the period of 10 years, helping in providing refinancing facilities which will be a sigh of relief to the tourist vehicles enterprises.

He added that the board is moving forward to help implement the commitments of the budget speech. He said that a study conducted by the tourism board found that entrepreneurs were specially affected by the cost of rent, interest rate and loan. The board is working with government for making the way out to reduce such burden.

Director and information officer of the Department of Tourism of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mohan Bahadur GC, said that the department will proceed in line with the speech of the budget and help to address the demands of the association.

Demands of the association such as waivers and concession in various forms of taxes and deferment of repayment of loss has been addressed in the budget speech of FY 2021/22.