The Himalayan News Service reports that the Finance Ministry has assembled a committee tasked with finding a strategic investor in the country’s dominant state-owned fixed line and mobile operator Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (Nepal Telecom, or NT). The paper cites ministry secretary Khum Raj Punjali as saying that the new committee will lay the necessary groundwork for the divestment of a stake in NT, having previously decided to sell at least 26% to a foreign partner.
The decision to establish a panel to verse the sale process was made in June this year, he said, to be headed up by Suresh Pradhan of the Office of the Financial Comptroller General. However, Pradhan declined to take on the role following which it was decided to form a new committee led by joint secretary at the Finance Ministry Biakuntha Aryal. The panel will submit its report by mid-September, Punjali added. Further, the finance ministry has given a wide mandate he said: ‘This committee will not only prepare the bidding document and contract papers, but also finalise the process and method of bringing in a strategic partner,’ the secretary confirmed.