KATHMANDU, July 28: Tourism entrepreneurs have demanded 5,000 doses of vaccines for tourism workers and business people.
A team headed by Pokhara Tourism Council Chairman Gopi Bahadur Bhattarai on Tuesday called on Gandaki Province Finance Minister Ramjee Prasad Baral demanded immediate arrangement of vaccination to bail out the coronavirus-battered tourism economy.
On the occasion, Council Chairman Bhattarai said 5,000 doses are required to administer vaccines to the workers and entrepreneurs of hotels and restaurants in the first phase. "Though it requires 20,000 doses for entire tourism entrepreneurs in Pokhara, we have merely demanded 5,000 vaccines to address the immediate need", he said.
The delegation also called for rescheduling loan repayment calendar as there is no possibility for small and medium scale entrepreneurs to repay the installment and interest of loan taken from banks and financial institutions within two years.
The delegation also urged the province government to make mandatory arrangement for every bank to flow maximum five percent of its loan portfolio to tourism industry in a subsidized interest rate. The delegation has asked the province government to put tourism on top priority in the monetary policy of the current fiscal year, 2021/22.
Finance Minister Baral said the province government has approached the federal government to ensure supply of vaccines. The province government would lay high emphasis on revitalizing the coronavirus-hit tourism industry.
The delegation comprises Council Chairman Bhattarai, tourism entrepreneurs Agni Kandel, Basu Tripathi and Tikaram Sapkota. They drew the government's attention towards preserving trekking routes and touristic destinations.