Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trousers without Pockets: Airport staffs in Nepal

A new government order in Nepal: staffs at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan airport must work with trousers without pockets. Pockets are for comfort but the government wants that the workers cannot have this comfort. The main reason is that many workers are not good and they create problem for visitors for nothing in order to get some bribes.

As a result, it is creating a lot of bad feeling among foreign tourists. Tourism is one of the most important sectors of earning foreign exchange in the country. Nepal has seen civil war and political unrest for many years. From May 2006, the people are living in peace compared to the past. As a result, many tourists from other countries are interested to come here and enjoy the natural beauty. In fact, Nepal has 7 of the top 10 highest mountain peaks in the world. Tourism has generated a lot of jobs in remote rural areas. In 2008, some more than half million tourists came here and the country and Nepalese government is hopeful that the number will exceed 1 million in 2011.

It is needless to say that when the tourists are harassed in the airport for some bribe by the airport staffs then it creates a lot of negative publicity for the tourism sector. Until now, the government officials did not give that much importance to this problem. However, now, Nepalese economy is suffering from economic recession and export has been hurt. On the other hand, the expectations of people have increased a lot in the time peace. So, the government is under intense pressure about the economy.

I am happy that Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has taken this decision in Nepal. However, at the same time, the salary of the workers of airport should be increased some too so that the workers feel that the government is also looking at their condition too.

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