Govt revoked the license of ‘Hello Nepal’

Kathmandu (Rashtriya Samachar Samiti): The government has revoked the license of Nepal Satellite Pvt. Ltd. (Hello Nepal).

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) held last Friday has decided to revoke the license given to Hello Nepal saying that the outstanding amount has not been paid. After failing to pay the arrears by mid-July, the board meeting held on October 22 had sought information from Hello Nepal about the due payment.

As per the decision of the board, NTA had sought clarification from the company on October 29 to respond within 15 days. NTA spokesperson Santosh Poudel said that the NTA has not been able to decide on the revocation of the permit.

The Board has stated that it has decided to revoke the license as per sub-section 930 of section 28 of the Telecommunications Act 2053 BS with effect from Friday.

The company is yet to pay the arrears of frequency fee, royalty, amount to be deposited in rural telecom fund, license renewal fee to NTA. Earlier, in July 2076 BS, the NTA Board of Directors had decided to cancel the license of the satellite company.

There is a provision in the Nepal Telecommunication Act that an application for review can be submitted to the Council of Ministers within 35 days after the NTA revokes the license. Based on the same provision, the company had applied for review.

Discussing the review application submitted by the company, the cabinet meeting held on January 7, 2018, decided to pay the first installment in the current fiscal year and to pay all the amount within five years.

The meeting of the Cabinet had decided to pay the outstanding amount in five installments within five years and if the payment is not made within the stipulated time, the license will be automatically revoked.

As per the decision of the cabinet meeting, NTA had given time to Nepal Satellite Pvt. Ltd. to pay the outstanding amount of Rs. 1.3872 billion in five years. Accordingly, the company has already paid the first installment of Rs. 215 million.

The company had given time to pay Rs. 339.8 million in the second year, Rs. 308 million in the third year, and Rs 277 million in the fourth year while Rs 246 million fifth year.

NTA has already stated that it has decided to revoke the permit as it is not possible to extend the time due to non-payment of dues within the stipulated time as per the decision of the cabinet meeting.