KATHMANDU, July 3: Following the widespread criticism, the government has withdrawn its decision to host the popular International Indian Film Awards (IIFA Awards), scheduled to be held in Kathmandu in August.
The IIFA Awards drew huge criticism from social media users, cinema workers and political leaders from both ruling and opposition parties after the reports that Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Nepal Tourism Board would be spending more than Rs 1 billion on the Indian film ceremony.
The parliamentary committee for International Relations on Tuesday–concluding that the amount to be provided to the IIFA organizers was unexpectedly high and inappropriate and allowing the program to be organized in Nepal was a threat to national sovereignty, prestige, freedom and independence—had directed the government to stop the 20th edition of the three-day awards ceremony.
According to reports, the Nepal government would have to pay 4,000,000 USD plus taxes, arrange accommodation venue for 4,000 audiences for 20 days and bear all costs for hospitality, catering and beverage for the visiting guests and IIFA crews at the selected and agreed hotels. The government would also have to bear the cost of air travel of IIFA contingent by commercial and chartered flights.
However, the government had claimed that it was not spending any money for the event and had argued that the event was approved to be hosted in Nepal with an aim to promote the country’s tourism.
“The event will not be held this year,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board.
“It will be possible if we are competent enough in terms of infrastructures after a couple of years,” he added.