House panel asks govt to collect CGT from Ncell at the earliest

Kathmandu, February 10

The Finance Committee of the Legislature Parliament today directed the government to collect the applicable Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on Ncell buyout deal at the earliest.

As the Supreme Court has already issued a writ of mandamus ordering government authorities to collect the due applicable CGT from the proprietary transfer of Ncell and Axiata, its majority stakeholder, the committee said that the government should immediately finalise the actual applicable taxes and collect it from Ncell and Axiata.

“The committee has been informed that a number of telecommunication firms are yet to pay billions of revenue to the government, including Ncell. The government should promptly collect such taxes from Ncell,” reads the direction of the committee.

The Large Taxpayers’ Office (LTO) has calculated Rs 61 billion applicable CGT, excluding late fees and other fines in the Ncell deal worth Rs 143 billion between TeliaSonera and Axiata.

Putting an end to the yearslong controversy over who should foot the tax bill following the sale of Ncell by Sweden-based TeliaSonera to Malaysia-based Axiata, the apex court last week had ordered the government to collect applicable CGT from Ncell and Axiata.

However, the LTO has said that it is yet to receive the verdict on Ncell buyout deal from the Supreme Court. “As soon as we receive a copy of the verdict, we will write a letter to both Ncell and Axiata to clear the necessary CGT,” informed LTO chief Dhani Ram Sharma.

Meanwhile, the Finance Committee has also directed the government to collect pending dues from other different telecommunication firms within the next one month.

Citing that different telecommunication services providers have not paid billions of dues to the government under different headings like frequency fee, royalty fee, renewal fee and fee for Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RTDF), the committee ordered the government to scrap the licence of those firms who are dillydallying in making the payments.

There are 153 telecommunication service providers in the country. Those telecommunication service providers who have not cleared their dues to the government include United Telecom Ltd (UTL), Smart Telecom, Nepal Satellite Telecom, Unilever Nepal Ltd, Tasi Communication Centre, I-4 Technologies, BroadLink Network and Communications, Itel Communications and Web Surfer, among others.