No ground to issue NT shares to consumers: PMO

Kathmandu, March 3:

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Cabinet today told the Supreme Court that the Nepal Telecom was not bound by any law to distribute its shares to its telephone customers.

In a written explanation to the apex court, the PMO secretary Madhav Poudel said the issuance of shares was as per the provision under Clause 7 of the Privatisation Act 1994 and that there was no ground to sell the Nepal Telecom Company shares to its customers, because it is the public enterprise’s right to decide over sales of shares.

The PMO reply came in connection with a case related to NT’s decision to sell shares to the public on the basis of highest bidding with a minimum price of Rs 600 each share.

The Nepal Telecom has also provided some five per cent of the Rs 100 shares at Rs 90 to its employees and has also fixed some conditions regarding its sales.

“Every citizen has the right to get the actual value of his or her property and the same rules apply to the public enterprises to get maximum value while selling the shares,” the explanation states.

Paudel also urged the apex court to quash the the Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Jyoti Baniya demanding that the NT issue certain number of shares at a minimum price to its consumers.

The petitioner had claimed that such a provision would help make NT more accountable to the public.