First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Internet cost in Nepal has gone high due to heavy taxes imposed by the government on the internet. The government is currently levying 45.76 percent tax on consumers for using the Internet.
Laxman Yadav, communications director of WorldLink said that the internet has become expensive as internet service providers pay five types of taxes to the government which they are obliged to collect from the service recipients. “On the one hand, the government is talking about digital Nepal, e-payment. On the other hand, by imposing heavy taxes, internet is becoming expensive,” he said.
Anandaraj Khanal, senior director NTA, said that Nepal is in the forefront of taxing the internet. “Access to the internet, which is one of the most essential services for the general public, should be made easier,” he said. According to the ICT Price Trend 2019 report released by the International Telecommunication Authority (ITU), Nepal has been included in the list of countries with high taxes on telecommunications services.
In South Asia, Sri Lanka levies 37 percent, Bangladesh 21 percent, India 18 percent, Maldives 6 percent and Bhutan 5 percent tax in internet. As of today, internet service providers have been paying 2 percent of their annual income to the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) while they are also paying 4 percent tax annually to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology for royalties, 10 percent for bandwidth imports, 13 percent as telecommunications service charges and 13 percent as VAT.
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