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Ministry to recommend candidates for NTA chairman on Friday

KATHMANDU, NOV 29 - The Ministry of Information and Communications is likely to recommend the names of potential candidates for the post of chairman of the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) to the Cabinet on Friday.

Ministry sources said they were all set to send a proposal with the names of three candidates — Bishwa Nath Goyal, Anil Jha and Digambar Jha for NTA chief. But they backtracked after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday appointed Jha as General Manager of Janak Shiksha Samagri Kendra.

Following Jha’s appointment, the ministry is in confusion whether to send the same name list or include another candidate removing Jha. “We will hold legal consultations and recommend potential candidates to the Cabinet,” said Communications Minister Raj Kishor Yadav.

Ministry sources said that Sugat Ratna Kansakar, one of the applicants, was likely to be included in the list. Kansakar is the former managing director of Nepal Telecom and former executive chairman of Nepal Airlines Corporation.

A committee formed under the coordination of Communications Ministry Secretary Surya Silwal has to recommend three potential candidates to the government. Ministry officials said the three applicants were shortlisted after holding interview, study over their vision paper, work experience and education qualifications. The Cabinet will appoint a chairman on the basis of the committee’s recommendation.

“Despite having long experience in the telecom sector and an impressive interview, Kansakar secured less mark as he only has a bachelor’s degree,” said a ministry official, adding that seven candidates — Anil Jha, Sugat Ratna Kansakar, Digambar Jha, Bishwa Nath Goyal, Rajiv Prasad Gupta, Kedar Jung Thapa and Shree Krishna Wagle — had appeared in the interview held on Wednesday.

Goyal is former managing director of Nepal Telecom and Jha is former managing director of Nepal Oil Corporation. A total of 13 individuals had applied for the NTA chairman post in the initial phase and most of them were ex-government officials.

The ministry had called only 10 candidates for the interview after examining their vision papers, work experience and qualification. Three applicants, including Shankar Prasad Pandey and Shohan Bahadur Nyachhyon, did not attend the interview.

Currently, the NTA has no chairman and a board member, which has been barring the telecom regulator to take policy related decisions. A few weeks ago, the ministry had recommended three names — Dhan Raj Gyawali, Ranjan Krishna Aryal and Mani Ram Oja — for the NTA board member post.

NTA chairman’s post has remained vacant since Aug 1, 2012, after the then Chairman Bhesh Raj Kanel resigned, citing interference of the ministry. NTA officials said the absence of a chairman delayed crucial decisions on number of plans, including the use of the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund and unified licence.

Posted on: 2012-11-30 08:57

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