Manakamana Cable to pay 100pc salary of lockdown period


Manakamana Cable Car, which has been closed for four months due to the lockdown imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus, has said it will pay its employees their full salaries for the lockdown period. While some big industries are saying they will not be able to pay the full salary for the said period as their operations had come to a standstill, Manakamana Cable has stated it will pay full salary of lockdown period to its employees.

Rajesh Babu Shrestha, director of the company, said that they have decided to pay 100 per cent salary of the four months after the company’s operation returns to normal, taking into account current difficult situation and the daily livelihood of the employees. This decision will provide much needed relief to 150 employees of the company.

Earlier, the company had distributed 50 per cent of the total salary to its employees in March and 40 per cent in April, May and June.

At present, the company’s business has been halted and not all employees are mobilised.

Despite this, in order to make the daily livelihood of the employees who have been working for years easier, we have decided to pay 100 per cent by providing the remaining salary of the four aforementioned months, said Shrestha.

He also lauded the government’s decision to pay the amount deposited at the Social Security Fund to depositors who are in need of funds. “This decision taken by the government in such a dire situation is truly commendable,” Shrestha added.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Nepalese Small and Medium Industries and Federation of Trade Unions had come to an understanding whereby employers would provide 50 per cent of the workers’ wages for the lockdown period.

Shrestha said that Manakamana Cable Car will not be able to resume operations immediately given the travel restrictions still in place. “Since people are not allowed to travel from one district to another our company is still closed,” he said, adding that operations will restart after the virus has been contained considering the health and safety of visitors.

Meanwhile, the company had prepared its own standard operation procedure in May to bring its business into operation. It has stated that a health safety guideline has been prepared which will be applied from the moment a customer uses the cable car till the time of their exit.

Shrestha informed that as and when the company resumes its service it will do so with only 50 per cent capacity in the initial days. He further informed that the company will follow all health guidelines set by the government like sanitation, hand wash facility, disinfection machines, body temperature measurement and masks. “Workers who are in direct contact with customers will be provided personal protective equipment.”

According to the company, isolation rooms have also been arranged at both the entrance and exit areas of the cable car service.