Ncell settles NPR22.4bn capital gains tax bill

14 Apr 2020

Ncell, Nepal’s second largest mobile network operator (MNO) in terms of subscribers, has settled in full the NPR22.44 billion (USD182 million) capital gains tax (CGT) bill levied by the country’s Large Taxpayers’ Office (LTO), as well as an additional sum of NPR990.25 million in interest. In a statement, parent company Axiata Group noted ‘Ncell’s payment of the total amount was made under protest and expressly without prejudice to Ncell and Axiata UK’s position in the international arbitration proceedings commenced by Ncell and Axiata UK against the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the LTO ordered Ncell to pay the disputed CGT bill in full in December 2019, following a Supreme Court ruling that determined the firm’s outstanding liability in connection with Axiata’s acquisition of an 80% stake in the Nepalese operator from Sweden’s Telia in 2016. Axiata referred the issue to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, arguing the imposition of the tax contravenes Nepal’s international legal obligations under the bilateral investment treaty (BIT).

Nepal, Axiata, Ncell Axiata