PM Dahal unveils Mountaineering Welfare Fund

Kathmandu: In a landmark announcement made during the celebration of the 71st International Everest Day in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal unveiled plans for the establishment of a welfare fund dedicated to mountaineering and the safety of mountaineers.

Addressing participants at the event, which underscored the significance of safeguarding the future safety of mountaineers, particularly the Sherpa ethnic community, the Prime Minister stressed the need for collective action to combat climate change and maintain pollution-free mountain areas.

He outlined the government’s commitment to these efforts through its policy initiative, encapsulated in the slogan ‘save the Himalayas, save humanity,’ which involves engaging in dialogues at national and international levels.

Highlighting the importance of stakeholder cooperation, Prime Minister Dahal assured strong support for the government’s policies, priorities, and initiatives, emphasizing the establishment of a welfare fund for mountaineering to protect the rights and interests of mountaineers. He announced that the government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, will spearhead the establishment of this fund, with value-added tax (VAT) exemptions arranged to facilitate mountaineers’ activities.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister outlined plans to bolster the commercialization of the mountaineering sector, positioning Nepal as a global leader among mountainous nations. Recognizing the impact of climate change on mountain ecosystems, including the iconic Everest, he called upon all Nepalis to unite in safeguarding these natural treasures.

In a bid to prioritize mountaineers’ safety and dignity, the government pledged to incorporate related policies and programs in the upcoming fiscal year, aimed at attracting a total of 1.6 million tourists. These initiatives include identifying and developing new tourism destinations, streamlining services through a one-window policy, automating the mountaineering permit system, and promoting mountain tourist destinations.

As Nepal reaffirms its commitment to sustainable tourism and the welfare of mountaineers, the establishment of the mountaineering welfare fund marks a significant step towards ensuring the safety and prosperity of those who brave the world’s highest peaks. Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving development.