Kathmandu, 25 November 2019
The government of Nepal has decided to finalize the appeals of telecommunication service provider Smart Telecom and Nepal Satellite Telecom (NSTPL). For this, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has taken the necessary steps. According to sources close to the ministry, a letter has been sent to the council of ministers, with the intention of giving the facility of payment in installments to Smart Telecom and canceling the license of Hello Nepal.
Since the decision does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Ministry, the proposal was forwarded to the Council of Ministers. The thematic committee under the Council of Ministers will take necessary study and send it to the Council of Ministers for the final verdict.
According to sources, three companies in the ministry had applied for an appeal. They include Smart, NSTPL (Hello Nepal) and Classic Tech(ISP). Classic tech is subject to fines whereas the other two are related to the licenses of the telecommunications company.
Earlier, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority had decided to revoke the mobile service license of Smart Telecom and Nepal Satellite Telecom. Both companies hadn’t paid arrears to the government, based on which NTA decided to terminate their license. They had gone to court and filed an appeal against the authority’s decision. Even after the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the authority, both companies appealed to the government as per the provisions of the Legal Telecommunications Act.
Both companies demanded the facility to pay arrears in installments. After review, the appeals of these companies will reach a verdict. Minister Baskota clearly said that filing such appeals without paying the dues won’t provide fruitful results. He also said that companies with a good customer base that have been paying regular fees need to be given a second chance. Smart Telecom currently has 7 Lakh active users and has paid Rs. 3 Crore but still has Rs. 2 Arba 32 Crore to pay to the government. So, according to Minister Baskota, Smart Telecom deserves a chance. On the other hand, Hello Nepal has over Rs. 62 crores to pay to the government.