Minister of Communications and Information Technology Parbat Gurung has urged Nepal Telecommunications Authority to expand its services to directly benefit people.

Addressing the NTA's 23rd anniversary function in Kathmandu today, he suggested that the authority make its services easy, qualitative, reliable and credible.

"The telecom service has become urban-centric rather than rural-centric. The Rural Development Fund has also been used for development of telecommunications infrastructure in urban areas. Now the time has come to extend this service to the villages along with the development of allied infrastructure," the communications minister said.

He also pointed out the need to carry out research to make the country's telecommunications services competitive in the international sector.

On a different note, Minister Gurung, who is also the government spokesperson, said talks between the government and the Netra Bikram Chand-led group had succeeded. He expressed confidence that peace would prevail in the country.

Stating that political instability would also come to an end, he claimed that an investment-friendly climate would be created in the country.

Secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Hari Prasad Basyal directed the NTA to expand internet to the villages in a bid to support the government's policy of making the education sector ICT-friendly.

"So far, internet access has been expanded to 542 local levels, excluding Kathmandu valley, 4,412 local units and ward offices, 3,126 health centres and 3,714 community schools across the country," said NTA Chair Purushottam Khanal.

He said Information Technology Equipment had been installed in all the schools as per the goal of expanding ICT to community schools.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 5, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.