September 30: Tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara have complained that a high interest rates charged by banks and financial institutions has made it challenging to sustain their business.
Speaking at a programme organized on Thursday, they said the double-digit interest rates have pushed their business on the verge of collapse.
Pokhara Tourism Council Chair Pom Narayan Shrestha demanded the facility of soft loan for them to revive the business that has been hard hit by the 2015 earthquake and COVID-19 pandemic.
Shrestha complained that BFIs have increased the interest rates on loans in recent days and it poses a grave threat to continue their business.
The rise in interest rate is likely to cause additional financial crisis in the tourism business and displace them altogether, said Shrestha demanding government intervention to protect the tourism industry. He took time to urge the government to create an investment-friendly atmosphere for the sustainability of the business and to come up with a policy that ensures subsidized loan to the entrepreneurs.
“The government is expected to adopt a tourism-friendly policy because tourism is the major basis of economic prosperity,” he said, adding that there has already been a delay on part of the government to come up with a protective approach for the tourism business.
President of Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Pawan Prajapati, expressed his view that women's participation in business has increased in recent time and it would play a significant role in economic transformation.
Similarly, founding chairperson of WOTEF, Jamuna Parajuli, pointed out the need of common thought and concept of all to resolve the problems seen in tourism sector.
Although women's presence and participation has increased in tourism sector, they have not yet reached the decision-making level, said Parajuli.
Likewise, Chairperson of Hotel Association Pokhara, Laxman Subedi, Chairperson of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Gandaki, Hariram Adhikari, Advisor Durga Dhakal, Vice-President of Federation of Nepali Journalists, Kaski, Jamuna Barsha Sharma, among others also expressed their views.
Members of the organisation, as well as chairperson and representatives of tourism related organisations were present on the occasion. -- RSS