Leave Tourism Allowance Program Facing Difficulties

23rd Nov, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Nov 23: Leave Tourism Allowance, a program introduced by the government to encourage and support the domestic tourism industry, is facing difficulties due to differences between the cabinet and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation.

The differences between the ministry and the cabinet has resulted in Rs. 5,00,000 from the budget allocated for the program being frozen.

Deepak Gyawali, a joint secretary at the MoCTCA, said that the cabinet had asked the ministry to revise the framework for the Leave Tourism Allowance Program so that the same person cannot enjoy its facility repeatedly. However, if the cabinet request is implemented, there will be no one in the ministry to enjoy the facility.

According to Gyawali, secretary and joint secretaries have to go on foreign trips on a regular basis while officers and non-gazeted first class officers tend to accompany mountaineering expeditions as liaison officer, making it difficult for anyone in the ministry to fully utilize the program.

Despite the disagreements between the cabinet and the ministry of tourism, the ministry has allocated Rs. 10 million for the program this year.

“Though we are yet to prepare new framework for leave tourism allowance, we will send it to the cabinet soon. We are hopeful that the cabinet will understand the problem,” said Gyawali. The ministry is planning to send the framework for approval after the provincial and parliamentary election.

Dandu Raj Ghimire, joint secretary at MoCTCA, stressed that paid leave for officials to promote domestic tourism is a universal practice, and as such the government has to cooperate with the tourism ministry. He also added that the program has had positive effects so far.

Ghimire also said that domestic tourists must increase in order to make the tourism industry sustainable.