Ncell dividend repatriation: NRB responds to CIAA, says DoI nod not requiredThe Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has reasserted its claim that it need not take approval from regulatory bodies including the Department of Industry (DoI) to let companies established through foreign investment repatriate their dividend.
The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has reasserted its claim that it need not take approval from regulatory bodies including the Department of Industry (DoI) to let companies established through foreign investment repatriate their dividend.
The NRB’s fresh claim to this effect has been made in a response it sent to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) regarding the dividend repatriation by Ncell, a private telecom operator established through foreign investment.
The central bank earlier on October 24 had said it had allowed Ncell to remit its dividend after getting approval from the DoI and Nepal T e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s Authority (NTA).
NRB’s Assistant Spokesperson Rajendra Pandit said on Friday that it need not take approval from other regulatory bodies as per Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1962.
“We have made this point known to anti-graft body in our response to the letter sent by the CIAA,” he told the Post.
On October 25, the antigraft body had sought details from authorities, including the central bank, regarding Ncell dividend repatriation issue.
The central bank decision to allow Ncell to repatriate Rs8.36 billion earned in the fiscal year 2011-12 had run into controversy.
“As the Ncell submitted all necessary documents that were sought through the public notice, we allowed it to remit dividend of that year,” said Pandit. “There is no tradition of asking approval from the DoI and other regulatory agencies.”
But the DoI, which was also asked by the CIAA to furnish details regarding the issue, has stuck to its earlier claim.
“We have responded to the CIAA in line with the press release we had issued regarding the matter,” said Maheshwor Neupane, director general, DoI, insisting that a DoI approval is necessary as per the internal working procedure on foreign investment.
On Thursday, the DoI had claimed in a press release that it had told the telecom sector regulatory body that its approval and recommendation were a must for repatriation of Ncell’s dividend, as it attracts the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act 1992.
Although this Act does not specifically call for DoI’s approval, Neupane said a DoI nod is a must “as per the working procedure on foreign investment prepared by the DoI”.
The NTA too said it has responded to the CIAA. “We have submitted our response in detail,” said NTA Chairperson Digambar Jha, without giving the details.