Lawmaker Bajgain sounds alarm on Pokhara International Airport’s financial crisis and loan repayment challenges « Khabarhub
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Lawmaker Bajgain sounds alarm on Pokhara International Airport’s financial crisis and loan repayment challenges

24 November 2023  

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KATHMANDU: Initially envisioned as a solution to alleviate congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Pokhara International Airport is now posing a growing economic burden for Nepal. Despite high hopes of easing TIA’s traffic and boosting regional tourism, recent revelations underscore the airport’s financial strain on the country.

Parliament Member Rajendra Bajgain voiced concerns about the financial implications of Nepal’s loan from China for the airport’s construction in a Twitter statement. With an outstanding debt of 22 billion Rupees, the airport faces challenges in attracting international airlines since its inauguration in 2015, raising doubts about its revenue-generating potential.

Bajgain highlights the first maturity deadline of the loan in 2022 and a subsequent one in October 2023, with a penalty and substantial annual interest rate compounding Nepal’s economic worries. The 5% annual interest rate alone accumulates to a significant Rs 110,299,200, adding to the financial strain.

Despite a substantial investment, Pokhara International Airport has failed to attract international airlines, operating only a few domestic flights. The lack of operational success echoes concerns raised by experts and citizens about the airport’s economic viability and the wisdom of a substantial loan from China. 

Similar challenges are faced by Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini, amplifying skepticism about the effectiveness of such projects in promoting tourism and generating revenue for the country.

Publish Date : 24 November 2023 14:15 PM

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