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Govt rolls back decision to hike 13 percent tax on internet fee

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to roll back its decision to hike 13 per cent telecommunication service charge on internet services on Thursday.

A meeting held between the internet service providers and officer bearers of Ministry of Industry and Communications has decided to roll back the earlier decision of government to hike internet fees.

Internet service providers, in line with the government’s decision, had raised internet fees from mid-July. ISPs had been charging 13 percent tax from the customers after the government decided to charge 13 percent tax from the internet providers.

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According to the agreement, the internet service providers will now not charge additional 13 percent tax levied by the Nepal Telecom and they will pay the telecommunications service fee to the government from the amount they have been charging to the customers.

This agreement will be implemented for those customers who have been taking the service only for home service. The corporate users, however, have to pay the 13 percent tax.

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Govt decides to award Budhi Gandaki Hydel project to Chinese firm again

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to award contract for the construction of the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki hydropower project, a national pride project, to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) once again.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday has decided to award the contract for the project to CGGCL reverting the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba government’s decision to develop the 1200MW project with internal resources.

The Cabinet meeting has directed the Energy Ministry to initiate the process to award the project to the Chinese company.

Following the government decision, the Energy Ministry will now invite the Chinese company for talks and prepare a draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) before signing it, according to multiple sources at the ministry.

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As per the Cabinet decision, the ministry has been asked to hold talks with the Gezhouba, prepare a proposal, and strike a deal to execute the $2.5 billion reservoir project.

Earlier on May 15, 2017, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to construct the Budhigandaki project to CGGCL, juat nine days before he was to resign from the PM’s post.

The Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to CGGCL at a cost of Rs 260 billion as per a study carried out by a French company, Tractebel Engineering.

The agreement, however, invited controversy as the project was handed to the Chinese company without initiating a competitive bidding process.

The Budhi Gandaki hydel project has been touted as a key project to resolve the perennial power crisis in the country. The government has allocated Rs18 billion for compensation payments and operational expenses for this fiscal year.

The Gorkha and Dhading district administration offices are currently distributing compensation to owners of the land taken over by the project.

More than 8,000 households will be affected by the project, according to the latest report.

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