KATHMANDU, Feb 10: CG Communications Pvt Ltd on Sunday said that it has paid Rs 449.45 million in different fees to the government and is abiding by the prescribed government rule in a bid to receive unified license.
CG Communications' comment came a few days after Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota said that the government won't provide CG Communications with the unified license as it has paid only nominal fees. "The company has paid only Rs 2.5 million compared to similar other companies which have paid Rs 20 billion in the process," he told a regular press briefing on Thursday.
Last week, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) scrapped the license of CG Communications to operate limited mobility services in seven districts, stating that the telecommunications service provider had failed to renew the operating license within the prescribed deadline. However, CG Communications has said that the company was abiding by the existing laws and paying applicable fees fixed by the NTA.
As per the existing rule, any telecommunication company wishing to get unified license needs to pay Rs 50 million in the first year, which gradually grows to Rs 1.50 billion in the ninth year. Similarly, the applicant company needs to settle a cumulative fee of Rs 20.13 billion within 10 years of the issuance of the unified license. “However, the government minister said CG Communications will receive the unified license only after paying the amount in advance, which is not as per existing law,” the company argued in the statement.
In 2013, CG Communications acquired 80% stake in rural telecom service provider STM Telecom – owned by US-based STM Communications Service Inc. Following the move, the company has been trying to receive unified license from the NTA to expand its services.
Last July, CG Communications signed a deal worth about US$ 100 million with China's Huawei Technologies to bring 4G phone services to the country. With the agreement, it has targeted to upgrade the service to 5G in the future. However, CG Communications has been running only limited telecommunications services in rural areas because of the failure to receive unified license.
CG Communications has also claimed that it has settled all the dues of NTA and has been duly following the legal process. The company has also reiterated its commitment to offer voice service free of cost and data 50% cheaper than other local operators.