Hotel entrepreneurs in Chitwan have complained that it is difficult for them to pay the loan instalment and interest in this situation and urged to postpone the deadline for the payment.
The entrepreneurs and businessmen in Chitwan have said that the lockdown has dented their business so much that they are not in a position to pay the bank interest and the loan instalments.
The government has already issued a notice for payment of interest and loan instalments by the 15th of Asadh. But the business community is hard-pressed for the same. They complained that it is difficult for them to even pay their workers, and the electricity and telephone bills, and is not possible to pay the loan instalment and interest in this situation.
The booming local hotel industry has been hit the hardest by the slump in the economy triggered by the lockdown. The hotels have not come back to business.
Deepak Bhattarai, president of the Regional Hotel Association Chitwan, said that it is difficult to revive the hotel industry. The hotel entrepreneurs are not even able to pay the few employees kept for looking after the hotels and the electricity bill.
There is an investment of more than 20 billion rupees in the hotel industry in Sauraha. Bhattarai said the bank loans alone account for more than eight billion. He said there is no option than to postpone the deadline for payment of interest and instalment to banks and financial institutions. Same is the condition of other small hotels and restaurants in Sauraha.
In the words of Dinesh Chuke, senior vice-president of Hotel Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal, the condition of 80 thousand hotels associated with the federation is also financially not sound. He said they are not able to pay the bank interest and instalment as their business is completely closed during the lockdown.
"The hotel entrepreneurs had invested 25 to 30 per cent more in hotel business targeting the Visit Nepal Year 2020 announced by the government with the aim of drawing more tourists throughout the year. But the VNY programme had to be cancelled due to the fear of coronavirus.