The government has revoked the license given to Nepal Satellite Plc (Hello Nepal). A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority held on Friday decided to revoke the license given to Hello Nepal saying that the outstanding amount had not been paid. After failing to pay the due amount by mid-July, the board meeting held on Kartik 5 decided to seek information from Hello Nepal about the payment.
As per the decision of the board, NEA had sought clarification from the company on Kartik 12 to respond within 15 days. NEA spokesperson Santosh Poudel said that NEA could not decide on revocation of the license saying that it had demanded more time from the Council of Ministers to pay the installment amount.
According to him, the decision to revoke the license has been taken with effect from Friday based on the decision made by the Council of Ministers in Poush 2076, after the company did not give a satisfactory reply to the letter. The Board has stated that it has decided to revoke the license with effect from Friday as per sub-section (3) of section 28 of the Telecommunications Act 2053 BS.
The company is yet to pay the arrears of frequency fee, royalty, amount to be deposited in rural telecom fund, license renewal fee to NEA. Earlier, in Shrawan 2076, the NEA Board of Directors had decided to cancel the license of the satellite company. There is a provision in the Nepal Telecommunication Act that an application for review can be submitted to the Council of Ministers within 35 days after the NEA revokes the license. The company had applied for review based on the same provision.
Discussing the review application submitted by the company, the cabinet meeting held on Poush 21, 2076, decided to pay the first installment in the current fiscal year and to pay all the amount within five years. The cabinet meeting had decided to pay the arrears to NEA in five installments within five years and if the payment is not made within the stipulated time, the license will be automatically revoked.
As per the decision of the cabinet meeting, NEA had given time to Nepal Satellite Plc to pay the arrears of Rs 1.38 billion in five years. Accordingly, the company has already paid the first installment of Rs. 21.51 crores.
Similarly, the company had given time to pay Rs. 339.8 million in the second year, Ashar-2078, Rs. 308.6 million in the third year, Rs. 277.4 million in fourth, and Rs. 246.3 million in the fifth. NEA has already stated that it has decided to revoke the license as it is not possible to extend the time due to non-payment of dues within the stipulated time as per the decision of the cabinet meeting.