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ICT, Telecom Sector In Budget 2078/79: Major Plans/Policies

Find out all the related ICT, Telecom Sector related plans and policies for the next fiscal year 2078/79 announced in the budget speech of the government.

The government announced the full-fledged budget of 16 kharab, 47 arab, and 57 crore via ordinance despite calls for a minimal budget due to the dissolution of the House of Representatives. The hon. finance minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel announced the budget live from Singh Durbar.

Hon. finance Minister announced various plans and policies from Singh Durbar yesterday. Like every year, the Government of Nepal has included many ICT, telecom sector strategies for IT growth going into the next fiscal year 78/79.

For the sake of ease, we have classified the list into two categories: ICT and Telecom. Update yourself with the major IT announcements below:

ICT Sector

In ICT, loans for the graduates, telemedicine, and laptops highlighted the budget speech. The focus remains on youth empowerment through electronic means as well as provisions to enhance agriculture in Nepal.

Health Service via Tele-Medicine

Nepal’s Government has taken the initiative of providing health care via telemedicine. That means the government will use electronic means to provide health care to the public especially to those living in rural areas.

Laptops At 1% Interest

The finance minister has announced that students will be able to buy a new laptop (Rs 80,000) at just 1% of the interest rate. As the Nepal government wants to leap forward in digital scope, access to devices and broadband internet would be key.

Facilitating students on the purchase of laptops with the bare minimum interest will certainly encourage youth toward IT efficiency.

However, this policy will be meant for only those students who have enrolled in government institutions.

Plans For Digital Maps And Smart Krishi

The finance minister also laid out plans to further enhance Smart Krishi. The government will refine the NELIS service. It helps people look up their property on the web and also print digital maps.

The finance minister announced that the government will digitize most of its land-related processes in the next fiscal year.

All the land-related works at District Land Revenue Offices or Malpot will be shifted online. This means the public will be able to register and transfer land ownership.

Beginning with the next fiscal year, land measurement, mapping, field book, plot registration will be done electronically via the MeroKitaa program countrywide.

Similarly, the government will provide information related to agriculture via mobile apps.

Billbook Renewal Online

Heading into the next fiscal year, the government has planned to shift bill book renewal online. This will rid the vehicle owners of inconvenient and long queues to the concerned transport offices.

Nagarik App Integration

The government will integrate all of its services into the popular Nagarik app in installments. The government launched the full version of the mobile app back on May 3 and will bring in many government services within its interface.

GPS Tracking For Tourists

To ensure the safety of visiting tourists, the government will develop a GPS tracking system next fiscal year.

This will benefit tourists who visit Nepal and roam into the remotest areas or come for mountaineering or adventure sports purposes.

Vehicle Tracking

To keep updated with vehicles’ movement, the government will launch a program for vehicle tracking. There will also be a provision of online tickets for public transport. Checkout: Vehicle tracking via IoT

The government will also provide radio frequency equipped embossed number plates for vehicles as well as electronic licenses to track their movement or location.

This will help as an anti-theft protocol as well as pinning their location in case of accidents.

Portal For E-Learning

The government will solidify its e-learning strategy in the next fiscal year. There will be an arrangement for a Sikai portal to encourage remote or online learning.

This will benefit those who are deprived of education due to lack of school infrastructure or in case of emergency such as the ongoing pandemic. However, it will also work in tandem with regular schools and help further grow IT skills among the pupils.

eCommerce By Postal Service

Coming fiscal year, the government will utilize the postal service for eCommerce delivery.

The government will set up a team to explore its possibility and derive its conclusions according to the report.

Madan Bhandari Technical Univerisity

Hon. Finance Minister also announced that Madan Bhandari University of Science and Technology will begin its curriculum next fiscal year. The long-proposed university is located in Chitlang of Makawanpur district.

In another news, he also revealed the plan that the government will establish one school for technical education in every ward.

Cheap Loan for Graduates

In one of the major highlights today, The government announced a 25 lakh worth of loan to graduates.

The government will provide bachelor graduates loan up to 25 lakhs on a mere 5% interest.

The plan is aimed at youngsters and could play a key role to increase self-employment (entrepreneurship) and keep them within the country.

The graduates will have to produce an academic certificate to avail of the loan for a startup.

VAT Benefits On QR Pay

From next fiscal year, you will receive a 10% VAT amount for the goods you purchase and pay via QR code. This policy will encourage online payment and bring digital habits among consumers.

National Payment Switch

According to the finance minister, the government will bring the waited National Payment Switch into operation from the next fiscal year.

The switch will integrate various online payment gateways and facilitate electronic transactions easier. The Finance Minister stated that National clearing House Ltd. currently working on it and will introduce the Switch soon.

Digital Passport

Th government will integrate a QR code into Passport from the nest fiscal year.

There will be a biometric feature to render its passport and visa proceedings advanced and digital.

NTV’s Global Version (NTV World TV)

Nepal television, the pioneering television channel in Nepal has four sister channels at the moment: NTV PLUS, NTV News, NTV Kohalpur, and NTV Itahari.

But today it is announced that the government will add another iteration titled NTV World. The channel will have a broader appeal to Nepalese living within and beyond the borders.

Check out: How to watch Nepali TV channels online?

Telecom Sector

The government has announced various plans to increase connectivity and the efficiency of mobile broadband in the next fiscal year. From MDMS to proliferation of 4G networks were the keynotes under this category.

Fiber Expansion

It was also announced that the government will lay optical fiber across the country in two years. The fiber across major highways as planned will install information highway for the enhanced and highly capacious transmission backbone network.

Similarly, the internet cables in cities will be shifted underground to rid of the cables which have corrupted the look of cities as well as risked safety for people.

Broadband Internet Via RTDF

The government will continue its broadband net expansion in the next fiscal year utilizing the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund.

The policy seeks to provide broadband fiber internet at every local level in the country for a high-speed reliable connection. Check out NTA’s plan for 20 Mbps internet in every ward.

Mobile Device Management System

Meanwhile, The Finance Minister also made the announcement of the Mobile Device Management System. (MDMS).

This system allows the authorities to control and enforce the government’s policies on smartphones and tablets.

Mobile device management (MDMS) is software that keeps a record of smartphones, tablets, and other network devices brought from official channels and blocks all others. The long-awaited project is aimed to curb the business of grey devices in the country.

Using MDMS, the government will disable the grey phones from Shrawan 1st onwards. The grey phone that enters Nepal through illegal channels has cost the government huge revenues every year and now it is toughening up the stance on it.

The clampdown on unauthorized phones means they will be dysfunctional regardless of any Nepali SIM it has inside.

Nepal Telecommunications Authority will incapacitate the phones whose IMEI number has not been registered in Nepal.

Free SIM Card For Students Above 16

To broaden communication and broadband access among the youth, the government will provide a SIM card each for those above 16.

The government will distribute free sim cards after confirming the eligibility in the next fiscal year. The plan will benefit the fresh SEE passed-out students who will be enrolling into +12 (previously High School).

4G Across The Country

Expanding the 4G network is another ambition for the government. Within the next fiscal year, the government plans to expand the fourth-gen network across the country to every local level. Check out: Nepal telecom’s 4G Coverage

Nepal Telecom’s share to customers

Today’s budget also had one exciting piece of news for the investors. It was announced that Nepal Telecom customers can now buy a share of the company. NTC will allocate 22% of its share up for mobile, landline, and internet customers. Read more on Ntc share to customers.

These were some of the highlights from today’s budget announcement for the IT sector (ICT and Telecom) for the upcoming fiscal year 2078/79. The policy will come into effect from Shrawan 1st onwards.

What are your reservations about today’s budget? Are you satisfied with the government’s policies towards IT for the next term? Kindly let us know in the comments section below.

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