Government doesn’t have the authority to waive the SDF or MDPR: PM

According to the Prime Minister Dasho (Dr) Lotay Tshering, there are no separate guidelines for locals and foreigners entering the nation, as both categories of people have to adhere to the same COVID-19 rules.

PM said all tourists have to follow the mandatory quarantine rules, be it 21-days or two weeks or even 10 days, as per government policy.

As for the Sustainable Development Fee of USD 65, the amount is a tax imposed on tourists in accordance with the Tourism Policy, and the Minimum Daily Package Rate is also imposed to cover the costs of the driver, guide, food and lodging.

SDF will be levied on the tourist during quarantine period as per the Tourism Rules and Regulations 2017 by which various discounts are available.

Minimum Daily Package Rate of USD 250 will be applicable only after the mandatory quarantine.

“The government does not have the authority to waive SDF or MDPR. And I don’t think it’ll have much of an impact,” Lyonchhen said.

In an earlier interview, Lyonchhen also said that TCB cannot take decisions on waiver of tax which has to go to the Parliament. TCB cannot take policy decisions that has to go via GNHC and it cannot take calls on visa, which has to be handled by the Home Ministry.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Technical Advisory Group requested the government to reduce the mandatory 21-day quarantine and avoid SDF during quarantine.

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