Thursday, 13 August, 2020
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Tax on telecommunication high: Dr. Khatiwada



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By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Aug 1:  Minister for Finance, Communication and Information Technology Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada Friday admitted that the tax on telecommunication services was high in the country. “Yes, we are paying high rate of tax for telecommunication services for now but it will not remain same,” he added.
Development and Technology panel under the House of Representatives had scheduled a meeting on ‘Services and Quality of Nepal Telecom’ today where the lawmakers asked the government why telecommunication was expensive in the country.
“Mostly service charges decreases with time, but we are compelled to pay expensive service charges for the telecommunication services,” they said. Data showed Nepal has expensive telecommunication services comparing to other south Asian countries.
Responding to the same, Dr. Khatiwada, who is also spokesperson of the government, said that it was the means of revenue sources for the government. “We are passing through uneasiness due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and it is the way to collect revenue to the government,” he said.
The minister also mentioned constrains facing by the Nepal Telecom, and said that it could not provide best services to the customers because of its structural problem. “It may require strategic partners to deliver excellent services,” he said.
Contracting for a ‘private management’ on telecommunication service was a reform, he said.
“It does not mean that the government wants to convert it from public to private entity, we want only reforms for better delivery,” he said. According to him, the government was also committed on 4G extension across the country to strengthen its quality.
Minister Dr. Khatiwada also clarified the lawmakers that the government thought of utilizing the corridor on communication sector for its multiple uses. “The towers can be shared with others and generate revenue from that as its integrated use was already applied in energy sector,” he added.
Earlier, the lawmakers asked several questions to the minister about the poor services of telecommunication. “Why has the telecom a poor reach in my district,” lawmaker Aasha Kumari BK said.
“I am from Humla, when will telecom provide its services to the remote areas like I have,” lawmaker Rangamati Sahi asked the minister.
Similarly, lawmaker Mahendra Rai Yadav blamed that telecom services in bordering district was insufficient. “People in the border area are compelled to use either private service providers or foreign telecommunication service providers,” he asked.
The minister assured that some of the technical problems in bordering areas will be sorted out soon.
Purusottam Khanal, chair of Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Dilliram Adhikari, Director General of Nepal Telecom and Hari Prasad Basyal, secretary at the ministry of Communication had participated in the meeting.
At the end, Kalyani Khadka chair of the committee directed the government to submit the reason for the delay in expanding 4G services.

 

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