Kedar Nath Sharma is a newly elected Pokhara Tourism Council (PTC) Chairman. Sharma was unanimously elected as a head of PTC from its 9th convention held on March 27. He is also a former chairman of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) Regional Association Pokhara and the Managing Director of Blue Sky Travel & Tours Pvt. Ltd. We have talked him about his future plans as PTC head. Excerpts:
Could you please tell us your future plans as PTC chairman?
I have not hammered yet any concrete plan like you asked but I will certainly come up with some programs and plans consulting with seniors and my executives. Roughly, I am thinking of amending the existing statute of PTC, organizing few familiarization tours and assisting to the programs like Jaun Hai Pokhara that especially targets to domestic tourism.
Talking about tourism promotion of Pokhara, are you thinking of any specific program too?
I have already mentioned but my priority will be focused to the promotion and development programs that focus public private partnership model. I would like to inform you that PTC will try to bring almost all the programs as per the newly imposed federal structures of the nation.
Tourism entrepreneurs especially hoteliers have been complaining over the hike of interest rate in bank loan for few months; what will be your take to address that resentment?
I am aware about the entrepreneurs’ dissatisfaction over the interest rate hike in loan but banks have already made clear that they came into force to increase the interest rate in loan as they faced crunch of credit for investment. So, the thing is that the problem will gradually be sorted out along the upcoming local level polls and other development works in the country.
How true is that most of the tourism entrepreneurs have been doing tax evasion for years in Pokhara?
Some entrepreneurs and institutions might have resorting on such idea but problem is that there is no guarantee of service and facilities by government site in return of tax paid by the citizens. So, we wish the government should come up with strong policy that address all kind of citizens and businesses equally unlike now small entrepreneurs have been paying tax for times but bigger ones not.
People and government officials from Pokhara say that there is direct hand of tourism entrepreneurs on polluting and encroaching Phewa Lake; what do you say?
It’s true that the lake is in vulnerable condition due to the encroachment and pollution but we need strong authorized body to control such misdeeds. It’s harmful to evaluate the encroachment and pollution basing on biasness. PTC and we entrepreneurs are ready to help in maintaining the real area of Lake Phewa if such campaign is launched.