Nepal’s ISPs halt payments to Indian providers amid forex rate issues

KATHMANDU: Internet service providers (ISPs) in Nepal have suspended payments to Indian service providers for 10 months, citing the government’s failure to address foreign exchange rate issues.

The Federation of Computer Association of Nepal (CAN Federation) revealed that payments to Indian service providers have been halted due to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) not facilitating the necessary foreign exchange processes.

The CAN Federation has urgently called on the government to arrange the facility for dollar equivalence to settle dues with the Indian company providing internet bandwidth to Nepal.

The ISPs have been unable to make payments for the last ten months, attributing the delay to the lack of approval from the government.

Nepalese ISPs rely on international bandwidth provided by the Indian internet service provider Upstream. However, payments to Upstream have been halted, with business representatives placing the blame on the MoCIT for not facilitating the payment process.

The ISPs require assistance from the MoCIT for payments related to the bandwidth supplied by the Indian company. Despite this, the MoCIT has not recommended the Nepal Rastra Bank to facilitate foreign exchange rates.

Ranjit Poddar, President of the CAN Federation, emphasized that the direct impact of this situation would be felt by general consumers and the overall economy of the country.

Poddar urged the resolution of the ongoing dispute between the Ministry and ISPs concerning royalty and Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) dues through mutual understanding and discussion.

He emphasized the importance of settling previous agreements based on court verdicts, revised telecommunication regulations, and existing legal provisions. The impasse underscores the need for coordinated efforts to ensure uninterrupted internet services and protect the interests of both service providers and consumers.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday January 14, 2024, 11:55:43 AM |

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