Ncell contributed $692 million to Nepal's GDP in 2017: Axiata
Kathmandu, May 14
Axiata - the parent company of Ncell - has claimed that Ncell contributed $692 million to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Nepal in 2017.
Releasing its annual report recently, Axiata informed that Ncell's estimated contribution to Nepal's economy last year stood at $692 million, including operating expenditure of $208 million and capital investment of $96 million.
“The total estimated GDP contribution includes the company's direct operation of $373 million, indirect contribution of $132 million through procurement from local suppliers, $76 million generated by Ncell's capital investment and productivity gains of $110 million through increase in mobile penetration rate in 2017,” states the Axiata's report.
Similarly, Ncell paid $277 million in the taxes to the government in 2017, according to Sustainability and National Contribution Report 2017 published by Axiata. The amount is 4.5 per cent of the total taxes collected by the government during the year, Axiata has claimed.
As per Axiata's report, Ncell has been contributing to the government treasury in the forms of licence fees, telephone service tax, ownership tax, value added tax, income tax, royalty, frequency fees and Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) fees.
Ncell saw its customers' base rise by 10 per cent to 16.4 million in 2017 from 14.9 million in 2016. It had recorded revenue of Rs 58.1 billion despite international long distance (ILD) income declining by 19.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, other telecom companies, including the state-owned Nepal Telecom (NT), have not been calculating their contribution to Nepal's GDP though they claim that they are contributing billions of rupees to the government's coffers through various taxes.
Moreover, the actual contribution of telecom sector to the national GDP also remains unclear.
“We have been carrying out a study to calculate the contribution of telecommunications sector to Nepal's entire economy,” informed Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for Nepal Telecommunications Authority - the telecom sector regulator of the country.
According to NTA, the telecommunications sector is generating almost Rs 45 billion in revenue for the government annually through various taxes, including value added tax (VAT), telecom service charge (TSC), royalty and RTDF fees, among others.