NT told to pay committed royalty of Rs 3.27 billion
KATHMANDU, June 17: Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) on Sunday instructed Nepal Telecom to clear committed royalty of Rs 3.27 billion.
Licensing condition requires the state-owned operator to pay royalty Rs 3.90 billion as license fee. However, NT was paying just four percent of its total income.
“We have sent a letter to NT, asking it to clear its outstanding dues of Rs 3.27 billion,” Kailash Prasad Neupane, spokesperson at NTA, said. He added that NT must pay the amount as private operator has already paid its committed royalty.
NTA can shut down services of NT if the latter fails to clear pending dues.
The state-owned operator had agreed to pay the GSM license and renewal fee equivalent to the amount committed by new mobile service operator. Since the second GSM player in the country, Ncell, committed to pay Rs 3.90 billion as royalty for 10 years, NT must pay the equivalent amount as royalty to the authority.
However, NT had been maintaining that it would pay the amount only after the private operator settled its dues. NT has paid only Rs 635.19 million so far -- four percent of its total income.
Ncell cleared its dues last week, after it lost a case against the government. Ncell had moved the apex court, demanding level playing field.
NT also owes license renewal fee of Rs 19.81 billion and frequency fee of Rs 460 million to NTA - the telecom sector regulator. It had renewed operating license in 2009, making partial payment of Rs 189 million. Then, NT had stated that it will clear the renewal fee only after Ncell settles its dues.
Although the board meeting of NT decided last week to clear frequency fee of Rs 350 million, it sill need to pay additional Rs 410 million, according to NTA officials.
According to NTA, NT has been looking for exemption in frequency fee, arguing that it was serving in rural areas of the country.