The telecommunications regulatory body, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), revoked the license of telecom service provider Smart Telecom after the telecom failed to pay renewal charges and clear up their outstanding dues.

The telecom service operator was given a deadline till April 16 to pay its renewal charges but the company failed to comply.

The total payable of the company to the Nepal government is around NRs 20.13 billion, along with NRs 3 billion in fines, making a total of NRs. 23.13 billion.

Similarly, the NTA has taken control of all the assets belonging to Smart Telecom and a meeting of higher officials of the NTA will form a committee to evaluate the company’s property.

Earlier in 2019, the government had decided to cancel the license of Smart Telecom, however, the decision was reversed with an opportunity for Smart Telecom to pay the dues in five installments.

However, Smart Telecom has repeatedly failed to clear its dues and would request an extension during payment deadlines.

The latest extension to clear outstanding arrears was made by the Council of Ministers by six months (until mid-January) but the decision was also not respected.

NTA chairman Purushottam Khanal informed that Smart Telecom will be able to provide services to its users for the next 15 days after which the company will be taken over by the regulatory body.