Nepalese government reviewing climbing permit fee

Eurasia News

Kathmandu : The Nepalese Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has formed a taskforce to review royalty fee of different mountains in the country. The Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.

Among others, the taskforce will suggest to the government to open more peaks for mountaineering and the solution to address different problems facing the country”s mountaineering sector, Purna Chandra Bhattarai, joint secretary at MoCTCA, said an interaction organized by Trekking Agencies” Association of Nepal (TAAN), here on Friday.

Bhattarai, who is also the chief of Tourism Industry Division under MoCTCA, is leading the taskforce. “The taskforce will study all the issues related to the mountaineering sector,” said Bhattarai. “We will also study demands put forward by TAAN and address them gradually.”

On the occasion, Ganga Sagar Pant, CEO of TAAN, made a presentation on various problems facing the trekking industry. He also suggested to the government the measures that it should take to address these problems. “The government should end illegal operation of trekking business. It should also address the issue like social security of workers to make tourism business sustainable,” he said.

Speaking at the interaction, trekking entrepreneurs urged the government to exempt tourism sector from VAT and charge tourism service tax of 3 to 5 percent instead. They said imposition of high taxes is making Nepal”s tourism package expensive compared to that of competitors like India, Tibet and Pakistan.

The trekking entrepreneurs also urged the government to lift restriction on highly potential trekking areas like Dolpa and Upper Manaslu. Saying that limited air accessibility is hindering Nepal”s tourism growth, they also urged the government to expand the fleet of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) at the earliest.