Department of Immigration. (File Photo)
KATHMANDU: Ministry of Home Affairs has collected fines from the stranded tourists in Nepal while renewing the visas.
However, the Ministry had decided to renew the expired visas free of charge within seven days after the lockdown ends.
But, the Department of Immigration on June 15 and 16 renewed the expired visa levying the fine of $3 per day who have been staying in Nepal around three months during the lockdown.
Ministry of Home Affairs started levying fines as per the old rules through the Immigration Department while renewing the visas of tourists detained in Nepal.
The embassies of various countries in Nepal have criticized the policy of the Government of Nepal after fines were levied on foreigners who were embarrassed by the greed for revenue from fines.
“We have been protecting your citizens who are in trouble abroad by giving amnesty. Why are you imposing fines on our citizens who are stranded in Nepal?” officials from Embassies have been questioning the Department and Nepal Tourism Board.
Chief Executive Officer of the Board Dr. Dhananjay Regmi said that there are foreigners in Nepal who have not been rescued by their country after the lockdown, who have stopped here saying that Nepal is safe, and have not been able to buy chartered flight tickets.
He informed that 1200 to 1500 foreign tourists have stayed in Nepal. But it is not the official records.
After widespread complaints and criticism, the home ministry is preparing to roll back its decision. Director-General of the Immigration Department Ram Chandra Tiwari informed that the ministry has decided to do as per the previous decision.
“Today’s decision is to follow the previous decision,” he said. “From tomorrow, we will renew the tourist visa without any charge.”