NT seeks relaxation of taxes

Kathmandu, March 20

Nepal Telecom (NT) has urged the government to scrap or lessen the percentage of certain taxes like Telecommunication Service Tax (TSC) and Ownership Tax being levied on the company so that it can offer various services to its subscribers at more economical rates and increase its competitive strength.

Amid a media interaction programme organised by NT in the Capital today, Surya Bhakta Pokhrel, chief financial officer (CFO) of NT, said, “It might seem that NT generates huge revenue from its services. However, the actual revenue of NT is less than what one might presume because it has to pay taxes to government under different headings like TSC, ownership tax, VAT, among others,” Pokhrel said, adding that if the government relaxes taxes under some of these headings, NT could deliver services at more competitive rates.

As per NT, the government levies 11 per cent tax on NT as TSC and two per cent tax as ownership tax beside the regular 13 per cent VAT.

He said that relaxing such taxes would actually indirectly generate more revenue for the government. “Cheaper rates mean more people will subscribe for NT services and increase in consumption of services of NT will directly increase revenue of the government,” Pokhrel explained.

As per Pokhrel, NT is also obliged to pay four per cent of its operating revenue as royalty and two per cent of the operating revenue towards Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) to the regulator, Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA). This is in addition to other licence fees for PSTN, GSM, CDMA and internet services.

Speaking at the programme, Kamini Rajbhandari, managing director of NT, said that the NT team is currently working to improve its data and voice services across the country.

She expressed commitment to do the necessary so that NT subscribers will experience enhanced network and better telecommunication services in the near future.

“We have formed an audit control unit at NT which will immediately address the complaints and problems in NT services reported by our subscribers,” informed Rajbhandari.

Similarly, Rajbhandari also informed that NT is on the verge of appointing its strategic partner to enhance the quality of telecommunication services provided by NT. She also said that NT team is studying the prospect of forming a subsidiary company.