Smart Telecom, with the government in the stake to escape by carrying debt obligations to Ncell!

Kathmandu. It is seen that Ncell’s license period will be extended by 9 years if it takes over the debt and liabilities of Smart Telecom. Last Monday, the government made it easy for both companies by publishing in the gazette the revision of the property management rules of telecommunication service providers whose licenses are not valid.

In rule 24 of the said regulation, it is mentioned that the service provider companies taken under control by the authority will be sold through auction promotion. Smart Telecom, whose license was automatically revoked after not renewing within the stipulated time, has been taken over by the authority on 20 May 2080.

In this way, the assets of Smart Telecom will now be auctioned on the basis of bidding. If there is no auction, the property of the company will be handed over to the person who accepts the company’s debt obligations.According to the amended provisions of the regulation, a service provider who currently holds a license for telecommunication services will get a new license for the remaining period of the revoked license if his bid is accepted or if he accepts the debt and liability.

Before cancellation, Smart Telecom’s license period was up to 2 Baisakh 2095. On the other hand, less than six years (until 16 August 2086) are left for Ncell’s license to expire. If Ncell takes over Smart Telecom after accepting the loan liability, then the remaining license period of about 9 years will be added.

Another new subsection has been added to rule 35 of the original regulation, which states that it will be in accordance with section 24 of the Telecommunications Act. The subject of attraction of that section has created more confusion such as whether to pay new license fee or not, permit fee, renewal fee and how much will be the royalty determination.

Previously, in the original regulation issued on 19 November 2079, it was arranged that the service provider company that undertakes auction or debt obligations can obtain a new license for 25 years. In this way, the current government has shortened the deadline by more than 15 years.

However, the board meeting of the regulatory Nepal Telecommunication Authority recommended the amendment to apply to the service providers who went to the auction sale or the service providers whose license period is short.

An expert in the telecommunications sector analyzed the attempt to impose the debts and liabilities of Smart Telecom by taking advantage of the obligation of Ncell whose license period is about to expire in the name of asset management regulations of telecommunication service providers whose license is not in force.

Repeal of non-applicability of maximum frequency limit
The government, through a new amendment, has canceled the provision that the license of the service provider whose license has been revoked will be added to the company that will realize the frequency through auction sale and there will be no limit on it.

Before this, in the original regulations, it was arranged that if the service provider who has accepted the bid or accepted the debt and liability, he can add the frequency used by the service provider whose bid has been accepted or accepted the debt and liability to the radio frequency that he is using in the past.

It was said that the provision regarding the maximum limit of the frequency specified in accordance with the prevailing law will not apply to the additional frequency. Now the frequency will be provided within the maximum limit.

Similarly, instead of the provision of canceling the permission in the previous original regulation, the provision of the frequency of the government of Nepal has been added. This seems to be an attempt to correct the previous system of imposing the debt obligations of the old company on the new company, where the license is revoked due to the greed of frequency. But under paragraph 7 of the original regulation, the frequency has been merged with the license that has already been revoked by taking the new license to be issued.

“By adding a new rule after rule 39 of the original regulation, a provision has been cleverly placed that no liability will be created on the government and the authority for the purpose of managing the property of the telecommunication company whose license has been revoked,” said the expert, “but the provision of the regulation provides for a new license for telecommunication services.” There is a possibility that the government will lose all the profit that can be obtained and that profit will be misused to feed the investors by paying the debts and liabilities of companies like Smart Telecom.

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