Travel trade entrepreneurs withdraw protests

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 2, 2014-

The agitating travel traders have withdrawn their protest programme which lasted 33 days. They called off their agitation on Monday following the tourism minister’s assurance that the investigation would be made transparent by including private sector representatives and experts.

The private sector has nominated Ganesh Simkhada and Deepak Mahat to the government investigation committee formed to look into charges of financial irregularities at the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).  Ramesh Dhamala and Chandra Rijal have been nominated as private sector representatives to the government announced taskforce that will recommend ways to reform the NTB.  

On May 11, a three-member investigation committee led by Purna Chandra Bhattarai, joint secretary of the Tourism Ministry had been formed and ordered to submit a report within 15 days. However, the committee has not done so citing lack of cooperation from the government and the private sector. Tourism entrepreneurs had said that the “toothless” committee which did not include representatives from the private sector was not acceptable to them.

The committee had been asked to study the amended financial bylaws and recommend necessary action. It has also been asked to probe the NTB’s income and expenditure for the past three years and advise the government on the measures to be taken if financial misconduct is detected.

“We have decided to withdraw our protest after the tourism minister’s assurance of inducting our representatives in both the investigation panel and the taskforce,” said Keshav Pandey, senior vice-president of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal. “We recommended the names of four private sector representatives to the ministry on Monday who will be inducted into two different panels.”

Published: 03-06-2014 08:59

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