MOICE minister answers queries on hotels and age limit

During the Question and Answer session in the parliament, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Employment Karma Dorji was questioned by the MP of Kengkhar-Weringla on the new tourism levy which has affected the tourism sector and the hoteliers asking what support is provided or the government is planning to provide to the hoteliers.

The minister said the tourism sector and especially the hotel industry was affected by the pandemic globally. “The support that government is providing is in terms of 24 hour SDF waivers in the border towns to helping those running businesses in the border towns. Before, the tourists were not allowed to stay in budget hotels rated blue poppy and we have changed it and made it star 1 and 2, and now tourists can stay in these hotels. The central bank has also given loan deferment till June 2024 for hoteliers.”

“To help with tourism, we have instituted a gold scheme for SDF paying tourists, and we are also instituting a SDF levy where those who stay for 4 nights will get another 4 nights to stay for free. We are also planning to give skilling and trainings to tourism related businesses,” he added.

The MP of Sombeykha constituency questioned the minister on why the overseas employment unit which has imposed a maximum age limit of 29 years, for jobs in the Middle East.

The minister said when this program was instituted, the youth unemployment was a problem which is why it was given to those of the age 21-29 years old. “Most of our youths go to Qatar and Dubai and they also requested young people. But we have been helping those who get fired or are unable to get employed due to the pandemic.”

He said if there are many people with unemployment problems above the age of 29, the ministry will try to rectify the age limit.

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