Development and use of IT is in high priority: Minister Sharma


Kathmandu, Feb 5: Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has asserted that the government has kept the development and use of information technology in high priority.

Addressing the 20th anniversary programme of Nepal Telecom Company Limited here today, she said, "Telecommunication is the basic infrastructure of IT. The Company's programmes are directed towards expanding the access and quality of telecom services in all regions of the country, installing the information superhighway by extending the optical fibre in order to implement the government's 'Digital Nepal' concept."

Minister Sharma maintained on the occasion that arrangements have been made for infrastructure expansion, increasing the access to and quality of services and making effective the repair and maintenance and the distribution of services by selecting 19 districts this year for developing all the services distributed by Nepal telecom as the model telecom services. 

"The topic of reaching the access and quality services in all the highways has been included in the programme. The international internet bandwidth service has been purchased at a cheaper rate from this year," the Communication and Information Technology Minister said, and urged the State-owned Telecom to move ahead united along with additional action plan and energy, improving upon the past shortcomings by identifying the remaining milestones that could not be achieved over the past year.

She also called upon Nepal Telecom management to control unproductive expenditures and to prepare long-term business plan on technology, trade, economic and operational models, keeping in mind the market situation and the upcoming challenges.

"The Ministry has pursued both policy and administrative works to remove the anomalies and confusions seen in the overall telecom sector. The government has carried out works from amending the laws for managing the assets of companies whose licenses have been annulled to conducting investigation into the Ncell share purchase and sale scam."

She talked about the issuance of the New Frequency Policy, 2080 this year with the objective of making the telecom sector further systematic. She stressed on the need of moving towards digitalization at the earliest.

'Digital infrastructure is the prerequisite for this and the situation is that it should be given priority as only the development of telecom service contributes to the digitalization," she reiterated.

Sharing that impacts of current challenges seen in national and international commercial field of telecommunication have also started appearing in Nepal Telecom, Minister Sharma mentioned that there is a situation to run the company protecting the welfare of employees, share investors and company in such difficult situation.  

She said that the management has taken initiatives to systematize employees' service security, adding the scheme--pension based on contribution is being implemented. 

Praising the services providing by Nepal Telecom for the nation and people, Secretary at the Ministry and Telecom Chairperson, Ram Krishna Subedi, explained that there is a challenge to make Telecom's services further qualitative and affordable in competitive era. 

He underscored that the Nepal Telecom should support the government's concept of digital Nepal through expansion of its services, expressing commitment to provide necessary support to the Telecom. 

Acting Chairperson of Nepal Telecom Authority, Nabaraj Adhikari, stressed that the Telecom should always be ready to face challenges seen with rapid development of technology, stating that Telecom has significant role in development of telecommunication sector of Nepal. 

Adhikari expressed commitment to provide necessary support from the regulatory body, Telecommunication Authority. 

Sharing the information about activities and further programmes of the organisation, Managing Director of Nepal Telecom, Sangita Pahadi (Aryal extended gratitude for the support and goodwill received from all stakeholders for maintaining the quality in the services even in difficult circumstances. 

Nepal Telecom Board member Shankar Lamichhane mentioned that the Nepal Telecom will always be successful in providing quality and accessible services if it gets policy-level and other support of the government. 

On the occasion, various employees were decorated with Dirgha Sewa medal as well as unveiled souvenir published incorporating various issues of Telecom sector. (RSS)

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