KATHMANDU, Oct 17: The Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) has demanded an extension of the deadline for paying back bank loans and interests by two years.
Issuing a press statement on Sunday, the association said that the most complicated problem today is the increasing interest rate of the banks and their pressure to pay the principal and its interest within the time limit. “In the present situation, even though we are responsible for paying the installments of the loan and interest, we are not able to pay the interest to the bank under any circumstances, so it is our strong demand that the deadline for paying the interest be extended for at least two years, and the facility of refinancing should be provided.”
After being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel and tourism industry is still struggling to meet the operating expenses and is operating at a loss on a daily basis.
In 2019, as many as 1.2 million tourists entered Nepal and the government is trying to bring in 5 million tourists this year, but even half of the tourism businesses have not been able to operate.
The association has also demanded that some of the provisions adopted by the monetary policy during the COVID-19 pandemic period be continued in the present time as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic is not over and the current increasing interest rate applied by the banks is too high to bear in a very sensitive industry like hotels.
The hoteliers of Pokhara and Siddharthnagar have publicly announced that they are unable to pay the banks’ principal and interest by mid- October, and hoteliers in other parts of the country also face the same situation. The association has requested the government to extend the deadline for the payment of the banks’ principal and interest.