TAAN suggests policy reforms
KAROBAR CORRESPONDENT
Friday, Oct 11, 2019
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A delegation of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) visited Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai at his office and suggested some policy reforms to promote trekking and tourism business in Nepal.
The delegation led by TAAN President Khum Bahadur Subedi also handed over a memo to the Minister suggesting some immediate policy reforms in the tourism sector. President Subedi drew the attention of the Minister to two foreign trekkers who have gone missing in Rasuwa for the last 10 days and requested for effective implementation of TIMS in all trekking areas. He urged the Minister to make trekking guide and porter mandatory for all trekkers and use government registered trekking company.
Similarly, TAAN General Secretary Sarita Lama read out the suggestions provided by TAAN and asked the Minister to advise Nepal Tourism Board to issue TIMS card online. She further requested Minister Bhattarai to implement Group TIMS effectively and abolish Individual (FIT) TIMS card as well as the practice of collecting Rs 1500 collected by Sagarmatha National Park from guides.
The delegation strongly appealed with the Minister to impose 5 percent TAX on trekking and mountaineering sector, annul the VAT levied against the use of porter, mule and yak services and halt Kathmandu – Lukla flights completely in order to promote flight on Ramechhap –Lukla sector.
Minister Bhattrai, on the occasion, congratulated the newly elected Executive Committee of TAAN and wished for their successful tenure. He said that safety of tourist is the government's utmost responsibility so taking a guide or a porter while trekking is essential to ensuring security of tourist. In order to resolve the problems faced by trekking entrepreneurs, Minister Bhattarai assured to organize a joint meeting with the Tourism Ministry, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Department of Tourism, Inland Revenue Department, Nepal Tourism Board, TAAN and NMA.
The delegation comprised of Senior Vice- President Nabin Trital, General Secretary Sarita Lama, Secretary Damodar Dhakal, Joint Treasurer Surya Kumar Shrestha, Executive Members Simbir Ghale, Sanam Sherpa and Prem Bahadur Lama.