Communications Minister requests India to reduce telephone tariff rate


Kathmandu, March 22 : Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rekha Sharma has requested the Government of India to reduce the tariff charged for making telephone calls from India to Nepal. She made the request during a discussion held today in New Delhi with the Union Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chouhan.     

Referring to the huge disparity in the telephone tariff between Nepal and India, Minister Sharma, also the Spokesperson of the Government, said Nepalis living in India have been complaining about the high tariff to make telephone calls to Nepal. "Hence, I see the need to review the telephone charges between the two countries and provide services at an affordable rate," she said.     

She also drew attention of the Indian side to the occasional inter-country interruptions in telecommunication services and in some cases Indian mobile services' availability even to the interior of Nepal, and emphasized that the service providers and regulators of both countries should be aware of this.     

According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Minister Sharma drew attention to the fact that Indian television channels are easily broadcast in Nepal but it is difficult for Nepali TV channels to be aired in India. It is also not possible to downlink the Nepali TV channels in India due to high fees. "Considering the huge Nepali-speaking population in India, I make a special request to facilitate the transmission of Nepali TV channels here," she said.     

Stating that Nepal is a country rich in natural beauty and culture and hence very suitable place for film shooting, Minister Sharma said that investors could get proper returns by investing in establishing film cities in Nepal.     

On the occasion, she also requested the Indian government to support Nepal in academic programmes as Nepal needs more capable human resources in information sector in the present context, while also lauding the scholarship being provided by India on different subjects since long to produce capable human resources in Nepal.     

Similarly, the Communications Minister further said there would be participation of Nepal in medium and short-term training in information technology and cyber security. "The risk has increased along with development of information technology. Cyber security is becoming a major challenge. Hence, it is necessary for the two neighbouring countries to strengthen the cyber security based on a sustainable mechanism to exchange information, experiences and practices."     

A technical team of Nepal has been studying the draft of the MoU between Radio Nepal and All India Radio regarding the broadcasting the content of one another, shared Minister Sharma, expressing the belief that the issue would reach to a conclusion soon.     

Minister Sharma also said that she had got the information that positive discussion has moved ahead between Nepal Television and Prasar Bharati regarding broadcasting the content of one another. (RSS)

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