Western Regional Hotel Association, Pokhara, has condemned the government decision to hike power tariff, calling the decision ‘unfortunate and inopportune’.
“At a time when the entire nation, including the tourism sector, is struggling to get back on its feet after the damage caused by the devastating earthquake and subsequent border blockade last year, the hike in power tariff is insensitive,” argued Chairperson of the association Bharatraj Parajuli.
Earlier on Thursday, a meeting of the Power Tariff Determination Commission, on the recommendation of Nepal Electricity Authority, had decided to hike the power tariff by 11.25 to 22.15 per cent with effect from the beginning of the coming fiscal.
Parajuli demanded that the tourism sector be recognised as an industry.
“In fact, the government should reckon this sector as an industry, entitling it to the attendant facilities keeping in mind how badly the sector has been affected due to last year’s crisis,” he said.
The association further rued NEA’s decision to increase the power tariff rather than checking the massive power pilferage and leakage.
“It is unfortunate that NEA has turned to covering its loss incurred due to power leakage by fleecing its clientèle.
The commission should have considered all sides before deciding to increase the power tariff, which is sure to hit the entire tourism sector and the general public,” he said.
Meanwhile, Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights has filed a complaint with the Committee for Agriculture and Water Resources and Consumer Rights in this regard, identifying the tariff hike as going against the existing law, which envisions just up to 5 per cent increase in a year.
Source : The Himalayan Times.