Ncell pays Rs 14.33 billion to govt, fulfils capital gains tax liabilities

Kathmandu, April 12

Private telecom company Ncell today deposited Rs 14.33 billion as tax in the government’s coffer fulfilling its capital gains tax (CGT) responsibility on the company’s buyout deal that took place in April 2016.

Jhalak Ram Adhikari, chief administrator at the Large Taxpayers’ Office (LTO), confirmed that Ncell deposited the given amount in the revenue account of the government maintained at Everest Bank.

“With this, the telecom firm has fulfilled its outstanding CGT liabilities,” said Adhikari.

The long-standing CGT controversy of Ncell was settled following a verdict of the Supreme Court, which determined Rs 22.44 billion as the outstanding CGT liability of Ncell in November last year.

Seeking facility to pay the given amount in instalments, Ncell had paid first tranche worth Rs 4.5 billion of the outstanding tax amount on December 31 and the second tranche worth Rs 4.6 billion on March 31.

With today’s payment worth Rs 14.33 billion, Ncell is now free from its CGT responsibility.

Ncell has cleared its CGT liabilities despite the issue still being dealt by an international tribunal, which had previously ordered the government to halt CGT collection from Ncell.

Even as Ncell has cleared its due CGT, the controversy might not be over as it is still uncertain what impact the order of the international tribunal will have on this case.

Axiata Investments (UK) and Ncell moved the international dispute settlement court in April after LTO asked Ncell to foot the capital gains tax bill of Rs 62.63 billion on the Ncell buyout deal.

At that time, Ncell had already paid Rs 23.57 billion to the government but tax authorities were exerting pressure on the company to settle the outstanding tax liability of Rs 39.06 billion immediately.

Thereafter, the company had moved the Supreme Court and the outstanding tax liability was reduced to Rs 22.4 billion, which has been cleared now.

In 2016, Axiata UK had acquired 80 per cent stake in Ncell for $1.4 billion from Telia- Sonera Norway.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 13, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.