Officials trade blame over Ncell dividend repatriation

    RUPAK D SHARMA, Oct 25 2016

    The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB)’s decision to allow Ncell to repatriate dividend has landed in controversy after two different authorities that were overlooking the case declined to verify claims made by the central bank.

    The NRB on Monday defended its move to allow Ncell to repatriate dividend, saying the telecom company established through foreign investment had fulfilled all due processes before remitting the profit earned in Nepal.

    In between mid-August and mid-September, the NRB allowed Ncell to repatriate profit of Rs8.36 billion earned in the fiscal year 2011-12.

    “The permission was given after the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the telecom sector regulatory body, on July 11, wrote to the NRB, informing that foreign exchange facility could be extended to Ncell to remit the profit if the company has submitted documents on revised shareholding structure, tax clearance certificate, audit report and a copy of decision taken by the annual general meeting on dividend distribution,” NRB Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Paudel told a press meet on Monday. “The NTA had also enclosed a letter issued by the Department of Industry (DoI), which stated the same thing. So, we followed all due processes while allowing Ncell to remit the profit.”

    However, a senior NTA official told the Post that the telecom sector regulator had not issued such a letter as claimed by the NRB. The Post could not contact NTA Chairman Digambar Jha despite repeated attempts.

    The DoI, on the other hand, said it had only explained the process of dividend repatriation in a letter written to the NTA.

    “We never gave the permission or a no-objection letter to remit the profit earned by Ncell,” DoI Director General Maheshwor Neupane told the Post. “We are surprised by NRB’s latest move as it cannot allow a company established with foreign investment to repatriate dividend without seeking our permission.”

    The DoI in a letter written on August 28, according to Neupane, had reminded the NRB that it must not allow foreign investors to remit profit earned here without getting its nod. The DoI,

    said Neupane, wrote the letter as per the provision incorporated in the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act.

    However, the NRB says it need not seek permission of any authority prior to allowing foreign investors to repatriate dividend.

    “Despite this, we sought NTA’s view on Ncell dividend repatriation case as it was a sensitive matter,” NRB Spokesperson Paudel said. Neupane, on the other hand, said the NRB should have contacted the DoI and not the NTA on this issue, as the DoI is the concerned authority that oversees matters related to dividend repatriation.

    Companies like Ncell established through foreign investment are entitled to repatriate profit earned in Nepal and this right has been enshrined through the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act. Based on this provision, companies established through foreign investment have been transferring profit earned in Nepal.

    Earlier in March 2013 also, Ncell had sought permission to repatriate 80 percent of Rs11 billion it earned in profit—or Rs8.80 billion (before deducting taxes)—in 2011-12. However, the NRB could not process Ncell’s application after it came to light that the telecom company had not been maintaining the said paid-up capital.

    Ncell had initially said its paid-up capital stood at Rs100 million, of which Rs80 million belonged to foreign investors and the rest Rs20 million belonged to local investors.

    However, documents showed that of the Rs80 million in capital that belonged to foreign investors, only Rs58 million had entered the country through formal channel.

    Ncell could not substantiate the origin of the Rs22 million in capital injected into the company.

    This was the main reason NRB had not allowed Ncell to repatriate dividend earlier.

    “Ncell furnished documents on entry of Rs22 million through the formal channel only in January 2016,” said NRB’s Deputy Spokesperson Rajendra Pandit. “This paved the way for us to allow the company to repatriate its dividend.”

    Earlier in June, the Parliamentary Finance Committee had directed the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Finance to entertain Ncell’s proposals to raise paid-up capital and launch commercial schemes only after the telecom company settled the capital gains tax issue.

    “We are not against the practice of remittance of dividend as this is the right of foreign companies operating here. But those companies should follow due processes and not cut corners while repatriating profit earned here,” Parliamentary Finance Committee Chair Prakash Jwala told the Post.

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    Impeachment motion against Karki: Congress continues to hem and haw

      Post Report, Oct 25 2016

      An impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki, which was moved without the participation of the Nepali Congress, has made the largest force in Parliament a divided house, and the Congress party is still hemming and hawing over the next move.

      While pressure is building up on the party leadership to support the impeachment motion without any reservations, the NC is struggling to come up with a clear position just as the motion was tabled in Parliament on Sunday.

      Of the 22 leaders who spoke during the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday, majority of them aired their views against Karki but said the party “does not need to take a decision right away” as the impeachment process will continue for over a month.

      On Wednesday evening, 157 lawmakers from the governing CPN (Maoist Centre) and the main opposition CPN-UML registered the impeachment motion against Karki at the Parliament Secretariat.

      Karki remains suspended as the chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

      The NC has maintained it was not consulted before the motion was registered. And it has become a major cause of discontent in the party.

      According to sources, three different views have emerged in the Congress party. A section of NC leaders is out and out against the impeachment motion, while there are some leaders who say Karki must be impeached. And the third group is making a pitch for buying time and taking a decision only after Karki clarifies his position at the impeachment recommendation committee (IRC) of Parliament. As per existing rules, once the motion lands at the IRC, it will summon Karki to allow him an opportunity to defend himself. But, the person is question can skip the summons if s/he wishes so.

      Sources, however, say despite differences of opinion in the Congress, the party will decide to stand in favour of the impeachment motion, at least for now, and ask the top leadership to hold talks with Maoist Centre and UML leaders on why the largest party in Parliament was not consulted before the impeachment motion was registered, said sources.

      A House meeting called for 3pm Tuesday is set to start discussion on the impeachment motion and given the urgency, sources said, party President Sher Bahadur Deuba is under tremendous pressure to take a clear decision. The NC has called its CWC meeting at 8am on Tuesday.

      Deuba knows, and is well aware of, how the impeachment process began and how the entire episode has evolved into becoming a precedent-setting incident, said NC leader Minendra Rijal.

      “So we have to take a decision once the impeachment recommendation committee comes up with its report. We have to uphold the process for our sanity,” he said in the meeting.

      Some NC leaders have demanded that the party call a Parliament Party meeting to take a call on the impeachment motion.

      “We, the parliamentarians, need to speak in the House. So we need clear instructions from the party,” said NC lawmaker Ram Hari Khatiwada.  

      full story »

      TI Nepal says it denounces corruption at any level

      Post Report, Kathmandu, Oct 25 2016
      Transparency International Nepal (TI Nepal), a coalition against corruption, has reiterated that it denounces all types of unaccountability, corruption and corrupt behaviours at any level. An impeachment motion against Karki was registered at the Parliament Secretariat by 157 lawmakers on Wednesday.

      full story »

      Main News

      Move against CIAA chief ill-timed: SLMM leaders

      Post Report, Oct 25 2016
      Several Madhes-based parties have termed the registration of an impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki an “ill-timed move”, saying that the process has been initiated to divert attention from the Madhes crisis.
      full story »

      Narendralal Shrestha elected Anfa president

      Post Report, Oct 24 2016
      Narendralal Shrestha has been elected as president of All Nepal Football Association in an election held on Monday.
      full story »

      Press Chautari condemns threats to journalists for publishing Lokman’s news

      Post Report, Oct 24 2016
      Press Chautari Nepal has said that its serious attention has been drawn towards the threats issued to journalists for publishing news regarding suspended CIAA chief Lokman Singh Karki.
      full story »



      SC stays probe into Social Science Baha

      Post Report, Oct 25 2016
      The Supreme Court has asked the Commission for Investigation and Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and the Lalitpur District Administration Office (DAO) to halt the investigation into the alleged corruption charges against the Social Science Baha, a non-profit organisation involved in research in the social sciences in Nepal.
      full story »


      BG Brothers recorded their first win in the Red Bull National Futsal League with a 7-1 hammering of Kirtipur Futsal on Sunday.

      Played at the own home court, Akash Lama and Rajendra Deula both scored hat-tricks to help open their team’s account in the league. Prakash Tamang scored another goal for the hosts. Apex Maharjan pulled a consolation goal for the visitors. Lama was named man-of-the-match.

      Hosts Baneshwor Recreation Centre were held to a 5-5 draw by visiting Adarsha Futsal. Man-of-the-match Kurfew Rasaili struck a hat-trick and Manish Rana scored another goal for Baneshwor, who also got another goal courtesy an own goal.  Samir Karki and Raju Budathoki scored braces and Utsav Rana added another goal for Adarsha.

      Kickoff Futsal lead the Group ‘A’ standings with nine points, while Sankhamul Futsal are atop the Group ‘B’ standings with six points. Kumari and Tahachal also have six points each in the group.

      In all, 16 teams are taking part in the tournament organised by the AMA Events. The champions will earn Rs 1 million and runners-up will walk away with Rs 500,000. The best player and the best goalkeeper of the tournament will receive Rs 50,000 each.




      The High Court on Friday cleared All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) to go ahead of with its scheduled election that will elect president and vice-president on October 24.

      The court had on September 30 issued a stay order to halt the election procedure responding to a writ petition filed by referee committee’s Binod KC and the football governing body’s former general secretary Lok Bahadur Shahi. The duo had filed the writ claiming that the impending election was illegitimate. The court had summoned five defendants, including Sports Minister Daljit Shripali, National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshav Bista and Anfa, on  Oct 21.

      Acting Anfa president Narendra Shrestha and vice-president Karma Tshiring Sherpa are fighting for the top post in the football governing body. The regional football governing body— the Asian Football Confederation—had directed Anfa to hold elections for new president after Fifa slapped a 10-year ban on disgraced former president Ganesh Thapa for bribery and corruption.

      The Anfa general assembly will also elect a new vice-president to fill the vacancy left after the demise of Lalit Krishna Shrestha, who had died over a year ago. Former national team goalkeeper/skipper Upendra Man Singh, ex-central committee member Dipak Khati and Mani Kunwar are running for vice-president post.

      Health & Style

      Fiction Park

      Some things you cannot fix

      PUNAM GHIMIRE, Oct 02 2016
      I never knew when she would appear. She’d open windows to the cold air and steal the covers from my bed. I felt sure she didn’t act alone. She had a bevy of her girls assisting her. I was really up against a force stronger than I could handle
      full story »

      Saturday Features

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      Preserving memories, sparking conversations

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      Old Trafford has found an unlikely messiah in the once-hated Jose Mourinho as it looks to reestablish itself as an impossible venue all teams feared travelling to

      Post-Dashain syndrome!

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