The agitating tourism entrepreneurs today came heavily against Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) as the board has blamed them of creating disturbances in day-to-day operations of the NTB.
Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC) burning the press statement issued by the board also argued that the NTB blame was totally false.
The board publishing notice in some daily newspapers blamed the agitating tourism entrepreneurs for continuing the strike despite tourism minister Bhim Acharya’s assurance of addressing their demands. “The agitators have been forwarding new demands every other day,” the board’s statement read, adding that the ministry has also cancelled National Toursim Fair as the agitators demand.
However, the Joint Tourism Coordination Committee coordinator Ramesh Dhamala claimed that they have not added any new demands. “We have been putting forth the same demands from the very beginning,” he added.
The agitators have been protesting against the board putting forth a four-point demand. They have demanded removal of Subash Nirola from the post of acting chief executive to pave the way for the appointment of new head at the board, probe into financial irregularities in the board, disclose financial details of expanses made over the past five years, and ensure institutional representation of private sector in the board of Nepal Tourism Board.
But acting chief executive of the board Subash Niraula said that the protest has hit marketing of domestic and international tourism. “The demands that the agitators have put forward are not related to us,” he said, adding that they should put the demand before the concerned authority. “It is not the job of private sector to raise question on financial activities of board.”
The protestors have lately threatened to close Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card sales counter for free individual trekkers from Sunday to pressurise the government to fulfill their demands.
Likewise, lawmakers today criticised the government as it failed to handle effectively the private sector’s protest against the board.
The lawmakers said that ‘financial irregularities’ had been uncovered at the board sparking protests from the private sector across the country, but the government did not seem to be responding appropriately to the tourism entrepreneurs demands.
The demonstration has been going on for the last 10 days.
A UCPN-Maoist lawmaker Ganesh Man Pun questioned ministry for its apathy towards taking action.