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Monday, April 22, 2019

HCC-N urges FinMin to regulate extra charges at national parks

Kathmandu, April 22

Representatives from Honorary Consuls Corp of Nepal (HCC-N) along with tourism entrepreneurs have requested the finance minister to regulate extra charges being levied at national parks.

After receiving numerous complaints from trekkers and climbers, HCC-N had held a meeting with Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada today requesting that the concerned authorities be directed not to levy extra charges on tourists, said Ang Tshering Sherpa, dean of HCC-N.

“The Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) has started levying Rs 1,500 per person as an entry fee with the onset of spring season, much to the chagrin of trekkers and mountaineers,” Sherpa said, adding, “So, we have requested Minister Khatiwada to control this rampant collection of extra charges.”

The Department of Tourism levies $11,000 per foreign climber for expeditions to Mount Everest during the spring season, while the rate for Nepalis has been set at Rs 75,000 per person.

However, from this season, SNP has started levying extra fee on both foreigners and Nepalis without issuing any notice, he claimed.

The SNP has been charging foreigners and Nepali climbers Rs 1,500 per person, while the charge for Sherpas has been set at Rs 100.

“We have requested the minister to implement one-window system for royalty collection” he said, adding, “An effective action has to be taken before the situation creates more trouble.”

Likewise, HCC-N has also informed the minister about national parks issuing guide permission at Rs 1,500. “We have professional guides that have received training from Nepal Mountain Academy and Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management. They work hard to receive guide licence, but they again have to pay extra to enter the national parks and this has to be stopped immediately,” Sherpa added.

He further said that they have also requested the finance minister to direct local governments to remove unnecessary taxes on porters too.

“Responding to our requests, Minister Khatiwada has assured that he will conduct an internal discussion over these issues to sort it out as soon as possible,” he said.

Prior to this, trekking and expedition companies had also objected to the extra fees. Meanwhile, the national park officials have said that the new rule of royalty collection was already published in Nepal Gazette on October 15, 2018. Consequently, the decision has been implemented from this season.

from Business – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2GmDJHK

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