First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Telecommunication equipment worth about Rs 1.14 billion that were stopped by the customs office at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), were released after the office levied a revenue of about Rs 320 million.
According to the TIA customs office, 13 percent value added tax and 15 percent customs duty were imposed on the equipment. “It is not possible to keep the goods in the airport forever,” said the head of the office, Arun Pokharel, “We have sent letters to other agencies for investigation and have collected the revenue and released the equipment.”
Servers, laptops, cell phones and other equipment were stopped at the TIA customs office for about four months due to doubts about the value of those equipment during customs clearance. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has procured the equipment for telecommunication traffic monitoring and theft control. Among the goods purchased by the authority are 199 servers.
The price of the purchased server is 79,920 US Dollars. If the exchange rate of one dollar is calculated at 128 rupees, the price of one server is 1.2 million rupees. The total price of 109 servers comes to 1.11 billion rupees. Similarly, two laptops have also been purchased. The price of a laptop is shown as 50,000 US dollars i.e. 6.4 million rupees. However, the authority said that it was a drive test and not a laptop.
Likewise, among the equipment, there are eight cell phones. The price of a cell phone is 200 US Dollars i.e. 25,600 rupees. All these pieces of equipment were stopped by the customs office. The NTA has purchased the equipment under the ‘Traffic Monitoring and Fraud Control System’ project. The equipment was brought by Vanrise Solutions Company from Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the NTA claimed that different equipment were purchased through international competition. According to the authority, the equipment was purchased for monitoring internet calls and quality of companies such as Nepal Telecom and Ncell. Purushottam Khanal, chairman of the authority, said that the purchase was made for parallel monitoring of billing, quality, etc. by telecommunication service providers.
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