KATHMANDU – Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has said the government is waiting for a study report to decide its further move regarding the Ncell share sale issue.
During the meeting of the Education, Health and Information Technology, House of Representatives, today, the Government Spokesperson said the study on this matter nears the final phase. Now the transactions of Ncell share have remained suspended and the Ministry has started preparations for revising the Telecommunications Act.
It may be noted that earlier the government formed the Committee to probe the Ncell share sale issue, viewing the sale procedure amiss. The five-member committee coordinated by former Auditor General Tankamani Sharma was formed by the Cabinet meeting on December 7 to investigate the matter about the sale of share of Ncell, the telecommunications service provider, based in Nepal. The Committee has been directed to minutely study the matter and to submit the report within 30 days of its formation.
In the meeting, NTA Chair Purushottam Khanal said lack of uniformity between the Telecommunications Act, 2053 BS (1997) and the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act, 2075 BS (2019) has led to confusions in the matter. The Company has not sought permission from the NTA for selling its shares which is mandated by the law, he said.
Company Registrar Office’s deputy-registrar Tok Bahadur Bista said the investigation into the matter is underway. Committee members Sumana Shrestha, Chhabilal Bishwakarma, Deepa Sharma, Tosima Karki and Badri Pandey objected to the issuances of separate directives regarding the Ncell share sale issues without inter-committee coordination. It may cause the problem of duplication by inspecting the matter forming a separate committee when a relevant regulatory body exists there, they said.
The Public Account Committee, the Finance Committee and the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the parliament have already discussed about the handover of 80 percent ownership (share) of Ncell owned by Malaysian Axiata Group to the UK-based Spectrolite Ltd.