The government has stepped back from the decision to host the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Kathmandu.
Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) that has been handed responsibility to coordinate the hosting of event, told Setopati that it has decided to immediately stop all preparations.
The International Relations Committee of the parliament has already instructed the government to not host the event. CEO Joshi said preparations will be stopped due to that instruction and in respect of public sentiments. "We had taken the event as an opportunity for tourism promotion and branding. But we have decided to stop it feeling it is not the appropriate time to host the event due to the instruction of parliamentary committee and other political and social reasons," he added.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota during the weekly press conference on Thursday had said the event will be hosted in a way that the NTB and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) are joint co-organizers. The event was scheduled for the last week of August.
The government had formed a high level committee under Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Dhan Bahadur Buda.
The event would have cost the government almost Rs 1 billion. The organizers had demanded US$ 4 million from Nepal for getting to organize the event while Nepal would also have to provide air fares, accommodation and local transportation for the guests and participants, the majority of whom demanded business class tickets and five-star accommodation.
The government's decision was widely criticized after revelation that the event will be hosted with taxpayers' money.