KATHMANDU, June 19: Nepal Association of Travel Agents (NATA) has demanded that Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) reschedule the loan payment deadline for the tourism businesses to mid-April, next year.
Saying that the tourism industry is largely devastated by the impacts of COVID-19, NATA has urged the central bank to adopt a lenient policy to the country’s tourism businesses in the upcoming monetary policy. The umbrella organization has also sought the NRB’s action on issuance of new loans to such businesses that are financially wrecked by the ongoing pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, the tourism sector, including hotels, restaurants and airlines, has been hit the worst owing to the ongoing prohibitory orders, lockdown and slumped economic activities in the market. Last March, NRB extended the deadline to pay loan installments to banks and financial institutions to mid-July from mid-April. The central bank also barred banks from imposing penal interest or downgrading any loans for delays in repayment.
According to NATA, the package offered by NRB is not sufficient in the context of the second wave of COVID-19 that has further devastated the tourism businesses rejuvenating from the pandemic last year. Forwarding its seven-point demand to NRB, the association has urged the central bank to consider renewal of refinance facilities for the next two years.
NATA has also demanded that small tourism businesses be provided subsidized loans amounting Rs 2 million for the next five years.