21st Jan 2020, Kathmandu
The Joint Struggle Committee of the employees’ union working in Nepal Telecom has said that the government’s tendency to favor the private companies may play a role in the company’s downfall in the future. The Telecom employees have accused the government of taking immediate action for private companies like Ncell and Smart to save them.
The company needs to focus on customer satisfaction to increase revenue by expanding services promptly, improving quality, and growing business capacity. However, the employees have complained that Telecom has been unable to do so.
Speaking at a press conference on Shrawan 2, 2077 BS, the committee said that the Telecom was in a state of disarray as the government did not decide in time. “Nepal Telecom has contributed 4.58 percent of the total government revenue of Rs 33.31 billion to the state exchequer in the fiscal year 2075/76,” the committee said in a statement.” Still, despite that, the company has come to a dire state due to the internal and external elements playing a part.”
They said that due to external interference and internal delay in the management of the independent company under various pretexts, sufficient investment and adequate infrastructure expansion could not be made. The statement further said, “As a result, the company has lost revenue by 3.16 percent over the previous year, and its net profit has shrunk to around Rs 9.75 billion.”
They also questioned the FTTH service launched by the company. The work of 4G service, which should have been completed within Magh 2076 BS, has been achieved only about 60 percent so far.
The Struggle Committee has stated in a press release that out of the target of distributing 219,000 lines of FTTH service, only about 50,000 lines have been connected so far. Employees have also expressed doubts about the failure of IPTV and Mobile Money to start the business.
Stating that the expansion of the project received from NEA is going at a snail’s pace, he said that millions of rupees are being lost due to improper utilization of telecommunication infrastructure built with massive investment. The employees have accused the management of not being serious about these issues.
They are also of the view that the Rs 5.86 billion submitted by Nepal Telecom for the first renewal of the license on Tuesday is impractical. As soon as the telecom management paid the renewal fee, the employees of the company termed it as an arbitrary managerial move.
They said that the renewal fee was impractical and that the money should be paid only by making policy arrangements. “Even though the company has been urging the management for a long time, the fee has been paid without any information,” the struggle committee said.
They have complained that no decision has been taken so far, even after repeatedly informing the government about this issue.” If it were a private company, the government would have decided by now”, they accused.
Chairman of the Nepal Telecom Employees’ Union, Yadav Prasad Paneru, said that they had to take part in the protest after seeing the authoritarian attitude in the management. He said that Nepal Telecom was on the verge of collapse due to the renewal fee.
However, Dilliram Adhikari, managing director of Telecom, said that the state-owned company could not go beyond the law. He noted that it was the general responsibility of the company to fulfill the written request after the regulator Nepal Telecommunication Authority specified the amount. When the company does not pay the renewal fee on time, questions start to arise from many angles about the financial condition of the company.
“If we did not pay the fees on time, the good institutional governance of the company, which is building its identity strongly and capably, could be called into question,” the official said. ‘
Even if the issue raised by the employees is justified, the Managing Director Adhikari has been saying that even the Auditor General’s Office has to collect the fee as per the decision until the law is enacted. “We can’t stay put and defy the law in such a situation. We have repeatedly told our union friends about this.”, says the managing director.
What is your view on this step taken by the Employees’ union? We would like to hear your opinion on the matter. Do leave your comments below.