Pokhara—Paschimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara (PHAP) has urged the government to include a special relief program in the upcoming fiscal budget, focusing on the restoration of the hotel and tourism sector that have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since the last December of 2019.
Issuing a press release, PHAP Chairman Bikal Tulachan claimed that about 20 percent of tourism entrepreneurs and 60 percent of workers have compelled to abandon their regular business and job due to this pandemic; so, according to him, the budget should come up with tax relief programs to save the investment and employment in the tourism sector. “Tourism sector needs relief in value-added tax, property tax, and income tax as well as an exemption in all kinds of taxes related fines,” Chairman Tulachan states in the release.
PHAP also demanded to establish employment saving and tourism development funds targeting the highly affected hotel sector. It also urged the government to expand the Rs 200 million ceiling of refinancing in the case of the hotel sector. The continuation of the 3 percent interest rate in special refinancing and the expansion of its ceiling from 50 million rupees to 100 million rupees are also the demands put forth by PHAP.
The PHAP also asked the government to implement the previously announced electricity demand charge-related exemption. Likewise, 50 percent tariff exemption and relief of demand charge in electricity for two years also are the included demand in the release. Similarly, the institution also urged the government to develop a 5 percent interest rate loan to save the hotel sector.