Telecom regulator Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has given its clarification against the allegation of fund embezzlement on the purchase of a telecommunication traffic monitoring system including the “Rs 65 lakh laptop”. The authority has asked the media to first get detail from Nta officials before publishing any news regarding the issue.
Earlier, multiple media outlets had published news alleging Nta for possible misuse of funds in its purchase of telecom equipment.
The authority purchased Telecommunication Traffic Monitoring and Fraud Control System (Probing Server, Customized Drive Test Equipment, and its Accessories. The objective of the system is to monitor/minimize criminal activities on telecom services, measure the frequency of domestic and international calls through service providers’ networks and determine revenues through it. It says the system was procured fairly through an international competitive bid.
However, some national daily news outlets published the news titled “Setting at Nta, Equipment Worth Rs 1.15 Billion, One Laptop Worth Rs 65 Lakh.” The authority says the nature of the news and allegation has strongly drawn its attention.
Dispelling the allegation on the particular case of “a laptop being Rs 65 lakhs”
Nta has also clarified the allegation of fund misuse in its purchase of the “laptop worth Rs 65 lakhs”. It says that the laptop in concern is a Customized Drive Test Equipment. It conforms with the article in Nta’s Quality Assessment Act, 2073, and is a Hardware (including laptops and software) to measure Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
The authority further adds that as per the Customs Office (at Tribhuvan International Airport)’s 2079-80 (Evaluation) R.F. no. 390 dated 2079//07/18 letter to be sent in writing to the customs department for confirmation of the customs subheading of the goods classification after customs charges and VAT with respect to the goods’ customs subheading 9032.89.00, the equipment was confirmed to be V-Prove Server. The authority says it had the system also verified by a third party.
Nta has also expressed concern over the well-being of the equipment as its held at customs. “If such sensitive devices remain in customs for a long time without use, they could bear damages.” Likewise, if the project doesn’t complete on time, the state and the consumers won’t receive the benefits from the project, Nta adds.
The authority has requested outlets not to transmit news beyond the truth. It has asked anyone needing to first contact and receive authentic data from Nta officials before publishing news.