ICT in 2080: Authority’s Action on Irregularities, Selling Electricity in Discussion of E-Commerce Bill

Today is the last day of the year 2080. This year saw many ups and downs in the field of information and communication technology. There were some new beginnings, but many times, news of irregularities was published.

At the beginning of the year, the Abuse of Authority Investigation Commission filed a corruption case against nine people, including the then executive director of Surakshan Printing Center, Vikal Paudel, in a special court for allegedly causing a loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer during the purchase of security printing press equipment.

Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) and Telecommunication Traffic Monitoring and Fraud Control System (Teramox) gained popularity throughout the year.

Although there were some attempts to improve the law this year, they were not enough. The cybersecurity policy was released for the first time in Nepal. Online radio was given legal recognition this year.

Authority’s ‘Action’ on Irregularities

At the beginning of this year, i.e. Baisakh, the Authority filed a corruption case against nine people, including Vikal Paudel, the then Executive Director of Security Printing Center, for causing a loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer during the purchase of security printing press equipment and filed a corruption case in a special court with a fine of more than 2 billion.

Similarly, last October, the Authority filed a case against nine people, including secretary Madhukumar Marasini, managing director of Nepal Telecom Sunil Paudel, and former secretary Sanjay Sharma, in the National Payment Gateway purchase case with the conclusion that there was a scam of 232.7 million 58 thousand. The Commission alleges that the National Payment Gateway, purchased six years ago, has not yet been put into use without preparing the necessary infrastructure and by approving abnormal costs, causing loss to the Government and misuse of government funds.

In March, the Authority filed a case against 19 people, including two former presidents, one former senior director, and three incumbent directors of Nepal Telecommunication Authority, claiming 91 crore 98 lakh 30 thousand 882 rupees as a scam in the purchase of MDMS.

Number plate for motorcycles made in Nepal

This year, an electric motorcycle passenger made in Nepal got a number plate. The P-1 bike of ‘Bagmati Pradesh 02 Ba 43 P 8650’ was registered as the first vehicle entirely produced in Nepal at the Transport Management Office, Gurjudhara (Motorcycle).

After the Government Ended the Transport Management Procedures Guide 2060, the Transport Management Department made special provisions regarding registering vehicles connected to or produced in Nepal, and passengers could get number plates.

Attempts at legal reform

Nepal’s cyber security policy was issued for the first time in 2080. Similarly, frequency policy 2069 has been revised and issued. According to this, the system of technology neutrality will be implemented from July 1 2081.

From this year, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has implemented the Alakart system. This is expected to end the situation where foreign channels collect arbitrary consumer fees for television broadcasting.

This year, the directive 2080 regarding managing the use of social media was also approved. It was arranged that social networks must be listed in the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology; otherwise, they can be closed in Nepal. Accordingly, social networks have started to be listed.

In 2080, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply approved foreign investment in information technology-based industries through the automatic route, and the minimum investment limit does not apply to information technology-based industries, including energy industries, agriculture and forest products-based industries, infrastructure industries, tourism industries, service industries and manufacturing industries are foreign. It was arranged that investors could directly invest up to 500 million.

Similarly, for industries and businesses operating to export services, including information technology, to establish contact offices in third countries, to make payments to foreign bodies, to transfer funds to their foreign bank accounts, and to purchase software or programs and install equipment, foreign currency assistance of up to 10 per cent of the income earned in the previous year. The National Bank arranged it.

Tick off

In 2080, the Government banned the popular short video platform TikTok. The Government shut down TikTok because it disrupted social harmony and the environment.

So far, the ban on TikTok has not been lifted. TikTok has also repeatedly requested to lift the ban.

Stakeholders say that the option of shutting down social media should be managed. Businessmen who promote their businesses using TikTok have been hit by it, and it has also affected influencers.

In addition, due to the closure of Tiktik, the telecom service providers Ncell and Nepal Telecom also lost more than 3 billion in income.

Electric vehicle import competition

Many electric vehicles were introduced in Nepal in 2080. According to the Customs Department’s data, 6,435 electric vehicles (cars, jeeps, and vans) entered Nepal in the eight months of the current financial year (from July to February).

Lakshmi Premium Motors brought BMW’s electric model IX3 to Nepal this year. Similarly, electric vehicles such as MG Four, MG Comet, Ceres EV, Hyundai Kona GL EV, Omoda E5, Neta X, Avon Y, Tesla Model 3, Tiago EV, GWM Ora 03, Nection EV Max, BYD Seal, and Dipple Seven were also brought to Nepal.

Similarly, for two-wheelers, the Yadia Gsix electric scooter, Ather 450X scooter, TVS iCube, Slane, and Luyan electric scooter Nepal entered the country this year.

Similarly, last November, the customs department sent a letter to all customs offices instructing them to classify the scooters as electric scooters and bring them under the tax scope after passing the inspection.

Launch of international digital payments

The international QR payment service was launched in 2080 by Fonepay of Nepal and NPCI of India.

With the service’s launch, Nepalese tourists can pay merchants by scanning the QR code from their mobile banking or digital wallet when they go to India and Indian tourists when they come to Nepal.

Likewise, the Nepal Clearing House has reached the final stage of preparations to start international digital payments between Nepal and India.

Asiata’s exodus and the case against coactivity

Last November, Aziata Group exited Nepal by selling its 80% share in Ncell to Spectralite UK for 6 billion. After that, various investigation committees were formed, saying the Thayer was bought and sold cheaply.

The govGovernmentnstituted a five-member inquiry committee under the leadership of former Auditor General Tankamani Sharma. The committee concluded that the purchase and sale of Ncell shares were not transparent.

The cabinet meeting on February 6 decided to send the Ncell share purchase and sale study report to the relevant agencies for implementation. After that, the report has been sent to the appropriate agency for implementation.

Similarly, at the end of this year, the Revenue Investigation Department filed a case in court with more than 10 billion in fines, which made waves in the IT sector. The private sector strongly criticizes the lawsuit as a misinterpretation of the law to ruin the IT industry. Stakeholders say it is unsuitable for this to happen in the face of the investment conference.

There was a dispute between Internet service providers and the Government this year between the Internet Service Provider and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The ministry has barred foreign exchange recommendations until the service providers pay royalties and Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) dues on maintenance charges. For this reason, service providers have warned that the Internet may be shut down anytime if they do not pay the amount in foreign currency for bandwidth from foreign companies.

Bandwidth has not been paid for a year. Internet service providers have been saying that maintenance and maintenance are non-telecom services and do not incur royalties.

According to Ispan, after the Public Accounts Committee’s discussion on the issues pointed out by the Office of the Auditor General in the 56th, 57th and 58th reports regarding RDTF and royalties, the 20th, 21st and 22nd reports of the Public Accounts Committee issued instructions to deduct those expenses.

The issue of selling electricity in the discussion of e-commerce bill

This year, a funny incident happened in the National Assembly, the upper house of the Parliament. On Thursday, the agenda of the NationParliamenty was to discuss e-commerce, i.e. ‘Electricity Trade Bill 2080’, but the discussion was on electricity trade.

E-commerce means buying and selling any item or material online. The bill was also related to this. But before reading the bill, the MPs said that electricity should be consumed in Nepal instead of being sold to India and Bangladesh.

Then, Industry, Commerce and Supply Minister Ramesh Rizal said that India would purchase electricity during the Prime Minister’s visit to India. This incident showed the minister did not keep general information about the bill he had signed and sent to Parliament.

Successful test of hydrogen productioParliamentr, Kathmandu University (KU) has tested hydrogen production for the first time in Nepal. A few days ago, Kathmandu University successfully tested the green hydrogen production and refilling station. The car was also driven by the hydrogen produced.

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is senior ICT professional who talks about #it, #cloud, #servers, #software, and #innovation. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal. Facebook: rabinsxp Instagram: rabinsxp

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