Legal rap on NTC’s knuckles over bonus

KATHMANDU: Spurred into action by a verdict of Patan Appellate Court yesterday directing it to disburse bonus to shareholders, Nepal Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) began distributing bonus to shareholders from today. It distributed bonus equivalent to Rs 100 million to its shareholders and employees.

Around 85 per cent of the bonus is to be given to the employees. “Due to such short notice shareholders’ participation was minimal,” said an inside source. Yesterday, a joint bench of Justices Thakur Prasad Sharma and Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai ruled that NTC should give the bonus. They gave the verdict cancelling the earlier interim stay order. A single bench of the court had given the interim order on May 5.

“The court does not see any logic in withholding bonus,” the joint bench said.

NTC has distributed 8 per cent of its shares to the public in 2007-08 worth Rs 1.5 billion. The government still has a 92 per cent stake in NTC. Around 32,000 people have purchased the shares of minimum face value Rs 600 each. Most of the investors paid Rs 2,500 for a share worth Rs 100 during competitive opening.

According to the NTC logbook, the corporation earned a profit of Rs 54 per share. When it declared that it would give only Rs 25 per share as bonus, investor Tritha Raj Hamal filed a case against NTC and the Ministry of Information seeking redressal.