Comments on three points mentioned in "Upwardly Mobile" (#13). The Belgian government loan that Nepal Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) received recently is not for a village phone network. It is for the purchase of telephone exchange equipment meant mostly for urban areas. Secondly, NTC always makes sure that price of any equipment purchased, even with tied loans on bilateral bases, are reasonable. Per line cost of exchange equipment under the Belgian loan, for instance, is less than $50, which is one of the lowest in the world. The same equipment recently purchased by another SAARC country costs more than $70 per line.
Also, it is a typical case of negative Nepali mentality to imply ulterior motives to our Prime Minister's stopover in Belgium. The government of Belgium has been assisting Nepal in the telecommunication sector for the past 20 years. Is it not natural that our Prime Minister wants to strengthen goodwill between the two countries with a brief stopover in Belgium?
A paper like yours with a new vision should try to bring a paradigm shift in journalism and take responsibility to inject positive feelings and emotions in the highly negative mindset of our society. Bad news may be good news, but the print media can also be a powerful tool to brainwash society.
Sugat Ratna Kansakar
Regional Manager, NTC