Modi's promise to lower call rates to Nepal still a pipe dream

Published On: May 7, 2018 04:15 AM NPT By: Arpana Ale Magar

Nepalis living in India paying NRs 16 (IRs 10) per minute to phone home  

KATHMANDU, May 7: Nepalis in India are still paying five times higher telephone call tariff for calling home, compared to the call rates from Nepal to India. Addressing Nepal's parliament four years ago during his Nepal visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced to lower the call charges to Nepal from India to encourage smooth talks between the Nepalis residing in India and their families and relatives back home. But Modi's pledge still remains a pie in the sky for Nepalis living in India.  

Addressing the Nepali parliament on August 3, 2014 PM Modi had promised to lower the call charges from India to Nepal. After that, telecommunication operators of India had reduced the call rate to Nepal from IRs 12 per minute to IRs 10 (NRs 16) per minute, according to an official of Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA). 

To make telephonic communication between Nepali migrant workers living in India and their families back in Nepal, telecommunication regulatory bodies of both countries have formed a taskforce. "We want to make phone calls from Nepali migrant workers in India to their families back home cheap and easy," said Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA. 
According to Aryal, a joint taskforce including officials of both countries has been formed to find out the problem and sort it out as soon as possible. Currently Nepali telecommunication operators are charging up to Rs 2.99 per minute for calls made to India from Nepal. But Nepalis residing in India have to pay NRs 16 (IRs 10) per minute to make a call to Nepal from India. 

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