The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has brought a strict rule against advertising on social media by spending foreign currency.

NRB has announced that the money paid for advertising by ‘boosting’ posts on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is illegal. Therefore, advertisers should use banks to send or receive such payments, the bank said.

According to NRB, people or companies that advertise their posts on social networks by paying foreign currency will be prosecuted under the charge of ‘misuse of currency’.

Executive Director of NRB, Bam Bahadur Mishra said the decision was made since illegal advertising is rampant on social media and large amount of money is being sent abroad via illegal channels.

“The practice of sending payments abroad for advertising on social networks and receiving foreign currency for advertising is illegal under the Foreign Exchange Act,” he informed.

Deputy Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Chintamani Siwakoti said that advertising and payment through social networks will now be regulated and NRB will work to bring it under the legal framework. The bill has already been passed by the Parliament.

Lal Raj Mainali, Director General of Revenue Investigation Department said that advertising on social media with the use of foreign currency without the government’s permission, that too without paying tax, is illegal, and the department can investigate as well as file a case of currency misuse at any time in such cases.

He said that permission should be obtained from NRB to send money abroad as per the prevailing law.