NTA directed to expedite projects

Kathmandu, January 10

Minister for Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) Gokul Baskota, today expressed his concern over the failure of Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) to expedite various telecommunications projects.

While inspecting the NTA office and the progress of different telecommunication projects today, Minister Baskota directed the authority to ensure that NTA plays a good regulatory role in

ending anomalies in the telecommunication sector and expedite various projects that have been initiated by the telecom regulator.

“The government will be compelled to take necessary steps if NTA fails to perform better,” said Baskota.

According to him, NTA has not been able to mobilise the resources of the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RTDF) properly. “The government has envisioned taking internet services to every health and education institution, rural municipality and ward.

Access to internet is crucial to transform the country and achieve various development goals,” said Baskota, adding that the government will not tolerate any delay in telecommunication projects.

Moreover, the minister directed NTA to scrap the contracts with those firms that have been delaying the projects and award the contracts to new telecom firms.

On cross-checking the progress of different optical fibre projects, Minister Baskota had found that

Subisu, which had been awarded the project to lay optical fibre in Province 2, had achieved only 30 per cent progress though the project should have been completed by now.

“Projects have not been able to achieve desirable progress while NTA seems to have done nothing regarding this. This will not be tolerable,” he added.

Similarly, Minister Baskota also warned NTA officials from making any decisions against the law. United Telecom Ltd (UTL), which had been awarded the project to lay optical fibre in Provinces 4 and 5, had sold the contract to a new company, which Baskota said is against the law.