Internet service providers (ISPs) have asked subsidy with the government to provide a 25% discount on the internet. They also make it clear that they won’t provide the discount until they get any support or relief from the government.
MyRepublica reports quoting ISPAN President Mr. Bhojraj Bhatta that there was no consultation from the government before announcing the package. They say they have been suffering from the lockdown and COVID-19 threat which puts them not in a position to give discounts. Read the challenges of the ISPs in this lockdown period.
They are currently managing their network and the increased usage which is 25% higher than before. So, they are paying more for the increased bandwidth while the user number and revenue remains the same. With this, they claim to be already in a challenging position and unable to give more.
Meanwhile the government-owned telecom operator Nepal Telecom is known for preparing to provide the announced 25% discount. Probably they will take decision soon.
The government had announced a relief package to people while extending the lockdown period for one more week. The relief package also included a discount on the internet and electricity bills by 25% among others. Find some of the key packages announced as below.
COVID-19 has threatened the whole world and we all are struggling at this moment. We could clearly see the economic crash-down that will prevail in the near future. Consequently, in this difficult situation, we all are staying at home and also working all the way long from home.
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It has already been more than a week that we have been in lockdown or self-quarantine. Now we have to spare one more week only at home if it doesn’t extend further. In this horrible situation, our government is trying to comfort its citizens. Apart from maintaining the lockdown and medical facilities for the COVID-19, the government has declared a ‘relief-package’ for the citizens.
The Government of Nepal has commanded the telcos and ISPs to reduce the cost of the internet by 25% during the lockdown period. It is unknown whether the discount on the internet belongs to home internet or the cellular data packages as well. Find how to save mobile data on your phone.
The discount is one part but we have been witnessing several complains from the people with the slow down of the internet services. They have blamed the ISPs for not maintaining their network resources and internet bandwidth as per the number of connections and demand from people. While we read all those, it is very hard to convince them about the reasons for the internet slow down.
In addition to this, the cabinet meeting held on Sunday has decided to lower the cost of electricity bills also by 25%. This cut-off is applicable to the people whose electricity consumption is 150 units in one month. Moreover, the government has extended the bill deposition date of electric bills, drinking water, and telephone of the month Falgun and Chaitra till the last day of Baisakh.
Not only has this but they announced to cut-of the 10% cost in rice, flour, and other daily usage food materials. Subsequently, the government has extended the license, route permit, and renew date of the vehicle until the last of Baisakh.
Similarly, the government has requested the house-owner not to charge the one month rent. This provision is for the laborers who work in unorganized areas. In doing so, the house-owner does not have to pay the tax of the consecutive month. Additionally, the laborers who work on a daily basis or monthly basis related to tourism get full-salary of Chaitra.
Additional Relief Packages
In the same way, Governmental and Private Health Organizations will receive customs exemption on buying health equipment. Also, the government has announced to lessen the service charge of the private health sector by 20% of the month Chaitra.
At the same time, the people who are unable to get to a foreign country for work after getting work-visa or the people who have returned from a foreign country are asked to register their names at local level employment centers. And, the government has decided to operate the Prime Minister Employment Program.
The import of automobiles amounting to more than $50000 is put to the end. Likewise, alcohol, peppers, nuts, kerau, and Chokoda import has also stopped.
“The cabinet has also decided to give 2.5 million insurance to all the people who have served the country and people at this situation till the end of the month of Asar “, said the Minister of Finance and Communications and Information Technology Dr. Yuvraj Khatiwada.
We recommend you to read how to identify fake news over the internet to break the chain of spreading rumors.
Tell us what do you think of the internet and electricity discount included in the relief package of the government for this lockdown period.
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