Pokhara traders’ delegation against bank interest hike

Pokhara, March 6

Hotel operators in the lake city have complained that the recent sudden and unilateral hike in the interest of bank loans had jeopardised the tourism sector. A team of delegates submitted a memo at the office of the deputy director of Nepal Rastra Bank, Pokhara, today.

The delegates met NRB Pokhara Deputy Director Amar Adhikari and briefed him about various adverse effects that their huge investment and the entire tourism sector was facing due to the interest rate increment, said western regional Hotel Association Pokhara Chairperson Bikal Tulachan.

“As NRB is the guardian and topmost monitoring body of the government, we briefed the NRB authority about the various problems facing entrepreneurs due to the bank’s sudden hike in interest rate,” said Tulachan.

General Secretary of the traders’ association Ganesh Raj Pahari complained that entrepreneurs were facing a hard time as the banks had unilaterally declined the ceiling of their overdraft abruptly.

“How is it possible to manage loan money in such a short time?” wondered Pahari.

Secretary Rajendra Dhakal argued that bankers were imposing the massively increased interest rate unilaterally. “It is unethical to double the interest rate from 7 per cent to 14 per cent without consulting clients in the name of financial crunch,” said Dhakal.

Tourism entrepreneur Santosh Pokhrel said NRB had to take some initiative for the sake of entrepreneurs at a time when they were facing financial crunch.

Meanwhile, NRB Pokhara Deputy Director Amar Adhikari said the present problem facing financial institutions was liquidity crunch. The entrepreneurs complained that Rastra Bank had set the criteria for the banks but didn’t intervene regarding an agreement between the bank and debtors.

First Vice-chairperson of the association Laxman Subedi, second Vice-chairperson Bhekendra Kumar Shrestha and working committee members of the association Deepak Shrestha and Raju Thakali also were part of the delegation.