Government has finally formed a committee with a mandate to start utilizing the huge resource of Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF). The long talked process to utilize the RTDF for ICT development projects has finally taken a shape, where Projects like “Connect a School Connects a community”, District Optical fiber project, ICT friendly VDC, are known to be financed through it. The fund is known to have Rs 10 Billion, collected from two percent of annual income from all of the license holders.
Information and Communication Ministry (MOIC) formed the committee after NTA chairman assumed office after winning a case filed against his appointment nearly 2 years back. THT reports quoting MOIC officials that Gopi Nath Mainali, joint secretary of NPC, Ram Sharan Pudasaini, chief of corporation cooperation division of MoF, and Kabi Raj Khanal, joint secretary of MOIC are the three members in the RTDF disbursement committee.
The committee is known to select the project, fund through RTDF and monitor the selected projects. The Himalayan Times reports that one of the projects could be soon awarded fund within this fiscal year.
Though Government has decided long before to utilize the fund for a various ICT development project, the actual funding is now going to happen and is hoped to be a big leap in bridging the Digital Divide in the country. Similarly, an ADB funded WiFi project is known to be operated soon in the name of SASEC (South Asian Sub-Regional Economic cooperation) Information highway, which will be benefiting rural areas by connecting telecenter in those VDC’s.
Tell us what do you think of the Government’s initiation in using RTDF fund for ICT development projects. Will it be fruitful for the Telecom sector and the whole economy and the prosperity dream achievement through digital means?? Please feedback in the comment box below.