May 30, 2015-
When it comes to crisis management, our tourism fraternity is no better (‘Tourism industry urged to open wallets wider,’ May 26, Money I). After every crisis, man-made or natural, they act like crybabies and plead with the government for, among others, tax exemption, demand subsidies, and inclusion on the sick list. Some come up with brilliant ideas for free visas, free trekking permits, entry fees, airport taxes, VAT exemption, and reduced international airfares as if the airlines belong to this country. They would never throw in free hotel rooms, free transportation, free sightseeing, free meals, and reduced domestic airfares. In fact, after the big tsunamis hit Japan and Thailand, the travel industry in those countries came up with cheap packages that saw them rebounding within a year or so. Whether we like it or not, we will have disasters, man-made as well as natural, and it is up to the travel fraternity to take the lead and come up with appropriate antidotes. As reported by Sangam Prasain, there are 30,000 travel and tourism businesses. If all of them contribute an average of $1000 each, they could have a contingency fund of $30 million for promotional activities. It would be better to be self-sufficient and independent rather than looking at the government for handouts. For the government, the most important priorities are saving precious lives and homes, and it is unfair to expect it to come up with scarce funds for any other purposes. Self-reliance is the need of the hour. Tourism fraternity can pool their resources for self-help.
J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur
WHO IS RIGHT?
I was considerably confused while reading the news about the rice distributed by World Food Programme (WFP) to earthquake survivors (‘NHRC to govt: Take action against WFP,’ May 27, Page 1). As per Zoie Jones, communication officer at WFP, the quality test of the rice was found to be perfectly safe and edible but had a slightly higher percentage of broken rice. In this circumstance, how could the National Human Rights Commission conclude that the rice distributed by the UN agency posed a serious health risk to the public? Technically, what does substandard food means? Is it contaminated or adulturated? Is it unsafe to use? Is it edible or not? What is the conclusion of the lab report from the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control in this case? Who will take responsibility if countless people are affected by diarrhoea and others diseases due to consumption of such food items handed out as relief materials?
Dakkal Pandit, Kathmandu
Warnings alone will not suffice to curb corruption (‘Won’t tolerate relief misuse, says PM,’ May 26, Page 3). In Nepal, merely issuing warnings is not enough because it does not scare people into abiding by the rules. They’ll say ‘barking dogs seldom bite’ and continue with their old ways. So I request the PM to ensure that the relief sent to victims is not misused during the purchase of goods and distributed randomly without ascertaining the needs of earthquake survivors. Of late, there have been many reports of local governments facing problems in sending relief to the most affected areas. So, it would be better if the PM directed concerned authorities, kept a record of those caught misusing the funds, and punished them promptly.
Shreedhar Acharya, Jorpati
Published: 31-05-2015 07:25