Nepal | July 07, 2020

FHEN threatens protest citing govt apathy

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The Federation of Hotel Entrepreneurs Nepal (FHEN) — the representative organisation of small hotels across the country — today threatened to protest against the government citing that the government has taken their plight lightly amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Organising a press conference in the capital today, FHEN officials said that every hotel across the country has been shut since months due to the coronavirus, but the government has disregarded the concerns of such hotels and has only focused on introducing relief measures for tourist-standard hotels.

“Small hotels had proposed to the government to provide quarantine facility for returnee Nepalis without taking any charge. However, the government provided the quarantine facility to such Nepalis in five-star hotels making them pay high charges,” said Hira Dhoj Shah, president of FHEN, adding that the government is not supporting small hotels by any means.

As per him, the government should allow returnee Nepalis to stay in quarantine in hotels of their choice at low cost. Similarly, FHEN has also said that all three layers of government should hold consultations with small tourism entrepreneurs while formulating revenue-related policies in the tourism sector.

Meanwhile, hotel entrepreneurs have also asked the government to manage 50 per cent waiver facility on rent and give interest rate discount to those landlords who provide discount on rental fee to hoteliers.

Citing that hotels will not be able to immediately resume services even after the lockdown is lifted, FHEN has sought discount on water, telephone and internet fees for small hotel entrepreneurs for one year. Similarly, the federation has also sought discount on corporate tax for two years, subsidised loan facility and deferral of loan repayment period by next two years.

Likewise, FHEN also said that small hotels should be allowed to resume services after the lockdown is lifted by adopting preventive measures against the virus.

“In case the government does not take our demands and concerns seriously, we will be obliged to start protests,” said Shah.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 25, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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