July 16: Internet Service Providers’ Association of Nepal (ISPAN) has decided to increase the Internet fee from the upcoming fiscal year.
ISPAN has decided to recover the 13 percent Telecommunication Service Charge (TSC) imposed by the government from the customers, which until now the service providers had been adjusting internally following an understanding with the government.
According to a notice issued by ISPAN, customers will have to pay the additional amount from July 17.
Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada had announced in the current fiscal year’s budget that the 13 percent TSC would be applicable for fixed broadband as well. The government had imposed 13 percent TSC for Internet service starting from July 17 last year but the ISPs had agreed not to increase the charge instantly after a similar agreement back then. However, ISPAN has decided to increase the Internet charge after the government did not implement the agreement reached between the two sides even after a year.
In the agreement, they had agreed to adjust the internet fee internally and not add the burden to the customers.
Puskar Badal, treasurer of ISPAN, said that the issue couldn’t be resolved even after meeting the Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota.
According to the service providers, the government has been imposing 32 percent tax altogether, which includes 26 percent TSC and VAT, 4 percent royalty, and 2 percent telecom fund.
Bhojraj Bhatta, president of ISPAN, said that customers in Nepal have been forced to pay the highest tax in the world for Internet service.