As strike takes toll, NTB staff seek solution

  • Irregularities at ntb
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 2, 2014-

Employees of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) have appealed to its board chairman to immediately resolve the ongoing issues as the indefinite protest launched by the private sector has started to affect day-to-day activities.

The country’s tourism promotion body fears if the issue is prolonged it could become very distressing for Nepal’s tourism. Twenty travel trade associations have launched a protest against NTB calling for transparency over the spending of the tax money.

On Friday, the NTB employees’ union submitted a two-point memorandum to the board chairman. Tourism Ministry Secretary Sushil Ghimire chairs the NTB board. The employees have asked the chairman to immediately appoint a chief executive officer (CEO), investigate NTB’s financial documents amid claims of irregularities, and bring employees found abusing the authority to book.

NTB, which has been assigned to promote Nepal’s tourism in the national and international arenas, has been stumbling along without its head since the then CEO Prachanda Man Shrestha’s tenure expired on October 31, 2011.

A delegation of disgruntled travel trade entrepreneurs called on Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Finance Minister Ram Saran Mahat on Thursday and briefed them about the financial irregularities they said were taking place at NTB. Travel traders have accused NTB officials of spending the tax money raised from tourists without controls by amending the bylaws to suit themselves.

Meanwhile, four board members of NTB representing the private sector have written to their chairman to call a board meeting to remove NTB’s officiating CEO Subash Nirola from his post.

As per the legal provision, 33 percent consent of the board members could remove the CEO. Nirola has been alleged of promoting financial irregularities at the NTB by amending its Financial Bylaws. Ramesh Dhamala, president of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal said that Nirola was also among 12 short-listed individuals contesting for the NTB CEO, so that he cannot take the officiating/acting CEO post.

The private sector has urged the government to immediately implement a report on NTB’s restructuring submitted by a government-led team.

 

Published: 03-05-2014 08:52

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