POKHARA: Entrepreneurs have voiced their complaints for pressure being exerted on them by the banks and financial institutions (BFIs) for the repayment of installment and interest against the central bank enforced policy and directives.
Tourism entrepreneurs said this at an interaction organized by the Nepal Association of Tour and Travels Agents (NATTA) Gandaki on the monetary policy issued by the Nepal Rastra Bank. They voiced their complaints that the consistent pressure of BFIs for repayment of loan and interest has put them in trouble.
Though the tourism sector has been included in the list of most sensitive areas due to coronavirus pandemic, the follow-up and pressure for installment has panicked the entrepreneurs, they said. Listening to the complaints of the entrepreneurs, director of the NRB Pokhara branch, Iswori Prasad Bhattarai directed the BFI’s to act in consistent with the monetary policy of the central bank.
“Capable entrepreneurs are requested to repay the loan amount but in case of incapable entrepreneurs the BFIs need not follow up for repayment within the government-stipulated deadline”, he said. Noting that the BFIs have a staggering investment of Rs 140 billion in the tourism sector, he urged all sides to take responsibility for protecting the sector.
There are 726 branches of different banks of ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories in the Gandaki region. Each branch has to provide a subsidized loan to at least five persons. He further said that the most-affected entrepreneurs would be provided with loans if the necessary processes were met.
Chairperson of Nepal Bankers’ Association Gandaki Deependra Sharma urged the entrepreneurs to not get scared from the phone follow-up of the banks. He further said that the telephonic call might also be to collect advice from entrepreneurs to explore possible solutions.
Likewise, chairperson of Pokhara Tourism Council Chiranjivi Pokharel said that the BFIs would not most probably be spared when the investment in the tourism sector collapsed so entrepreneurs should in no way be terrorized.
NATTA Gandaki State chair Sanjaya Kanta Sigdel said the tourism entrepreneurs have failed to avail of the monetary policy issued by the central banks. Tourism entrepreneur Ganesh Bahadur Bhattarai stressed that the tourism sector should be provided with loan at par with the interest for the agriculture sector.
According to the tourism entrepreneurs, there is an investment of total Rs 400 billion in the overall tourism sector of Pokhara. Out of the total investment, BFI’s loan share 75 percent, it is learnt.