KATHMANDU, JANUARY 29
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Bhanubhakta Dhakal has said that he is determined to complete some of the most awaited projects under the ministry before the election.
As the government has announced mid-term elections, Minister Dhakal has stated that he does not want to introduce any new action plan in this short period.
"Rather, I would give continuity to the regular projects," he said during a press meet organised today.
While admitting he wanted to introduce some new plans for the betterment of the tourism industry, he said he decided against it as the election is just around the corner.
"I think there is something to be done in this sector but the time is very short," he said, "So, I thought it would be better to accelerate the ongoing projects and complete them. And I am very confident that before the election some of our major projects will be completed."
He said that discussions have been held with tourism entrepreneurs and private sector representatives to help recover the tourism sector, which has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry will soon launch an impact and recovery assessment programme as well, he added.
He further claimed that the Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) and Pokhara International Airport (PIA) will be brought into operation during his tenure.
He said that the construction of GBIA has been expedited.
Stating that 70 per cent physical progress of PIA has been completed, Minister Dhakal said that he would take the initiative to operate the airport during his tenure.
He said that the ministry would do its best to solve the problems faced by the tourism entrepreneurs due to the pandemic.
He also said that he is under pressure to change some of the health protocols implemented in the tourism industry. "I can understand that the stakeholders want me to change some of the health protocols to facilitate the tourism market," he said, "But those health protocols were implemented when I was the health minister. And looking at the health safety we have implemented those protocols.
We are discussing over this issue though."
He committed to ease travel protocols very soon after holding further consultations with all the concerned stakeholders.