CHITWAN, July 28: Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has instructed the seven hotels inside Chitwan National Park not to take their property out without first clearing outstanding dues to the government.
IRD last week sent a letter to the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) asking it to prohibit the hotels from taking out their belongings.
The IRD letter states that the hotels have outstanding dues ranging from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10.70 million. As per the exit plan, the hotels were allowed to relocate only by mid-December, 2012 although their operations had ended with the expiry of a final deadine in mid-July, 2012.
Chief Conservation Officer at CNP Jhamak Bahadur Karki said, “Following the letter from IRD we will not allow them to take out most of their belongings from the hotel unless the IRD comes up with new instructions.” Following the letter, the CNP office has also prepared a list of objects not allowed to be taken out of the CNP without clearing outstanding dues.
Karki said the office had already informed the hoteliers about the IRD letter and it was soon to inform them in writting as well. “We have asked all the CNP hoteliers by phone to clear their dues at the earliest,” he added.
The letter sent to MoFSC was forwarded to the CNP office through the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. Karki opined that it should not be that difficult to collect the dues following the IRD instructions. He, however expressed doubts about collection of dues from Gainda Wild Life Camp, which shut down in 2009.
According to the IRD office in Bharatpur, the resort hotel owes Rs 10.07 million. Likewise, the outstanding dues of Tiger Tops Lodge, Naryani Safari and Machan Wild Life Camp stand at Rs 3.9 million, 1.52 million and 980,000 respectively. Island Jungle Resort owes the government Rs 820,000 and Chitwan Jungle Lodge Rs 6,000.
Despite continuous pressure from the hoteliers, the government on July 15 decided not to extend the hotel lease agreements.
The government in 2009 had decided not to renew the agreements after mid-July 2012, following pressure from conservationists, who accused the hoteliers of degrading the environment and the natural habitat of wildlife.