Even though the government was all set to give the 10-day tourism leave for civil servants with an aim to promote domestic tourism, the scheme has been put on hold by the Ministry of Finance.
According to Prem Subedi, Spokesperson at Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), MoCTCA had sent the final work procedure to MoF for its opinion, but, work procedure file has remained in limbo at MoF.
He stated that MoF has stopped any further work procedure, because of a lack of confidence on the budget, even though the work plan was formed on the basis of the budget speech.
The replacement budget does not mention this issue and the draft tourism work procedure 2078 drafted by the MoCTCA states that a lump sum budget should be provided to the Ministry of Tourism. However, voices have been raised from all government staff that the budget needs to be distributed in each ministry.
No decision has been made regarding the budget distribution issue from MoF, therefore, the 10-day tourism leave to government staff has stayed stranded as of now.
As no concrete decision has been made even after three months of the current fiscal year, challenges have been added to fulfill the target of promoting internal tourism in the country.
Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs, however, has approved the 10 days tourism leave.
In order to promote domestic tourism, the employees of government bodies and public institutions will be provided an amount equal to 10 days’ salary while on deputation for tourism leave.
The working plan has stated that the employee can take two members of their family, without exceeding the number. Even the two members of the family can get all benefits as government employees. 20,000 rupees will be sponsored beforehand for travel expenses at the rate of Rs. 2,000 per day.
It has been stated that employees must send the detailed report of the travel within 35 days and all ministries must send the annual report to MoCTCA.
It has been said that any government staff taking 10 days of tourism leave must not visit the district where the office is located or in the area where the employee has a permanent address. All other districts, besides having permanent residency or office located district can be visited by a government employee.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has said that it will make package the destinations that are not highlighted to encourage tourism on the hidden destinations. Employees can choose destinations from these package deals as well.
For 10 days of tourism leave approval, the head of the department and chief at the main branch has to take approval from the head of the ministry and others with the head of the office.
The ministry has stated that there are more than six lakh employees across the country including institutions, establishments, and civil servants. The program aims to make 1.2 to 1.5 million people visit domestic tourism destinations annually.
Source : TRN,