Freedom Forum has been concerned over the excessive vat the government imposed on internet.
The excessive vat on internet has direct impact on internet users, discouraging and curtailing their freedom of expression online.
Freedom of expression and information are the fundamental rights enshrined by Nepal's constitution, but the decision to impose 13 percent vat on internet has limited citizens' access to internet.
Internet has become an effective platform for citizens to express their views, participate in debate and make criticisms on any issue of importance. It has created an unrivalled opportunity for exercising FoE online.
But, the decision is brought also against the National Broadband Policy that aims to expand the broadband internet coverage.
"Excessive vat on internet has come in a series of government's attacks on freedoms. It is intended to suppress citizen's right to FoE and information online. At a time when the free flow of information must be ensured to keep public vigil on the government activities for functional democracy, the government has imposed vat thereby limiting people's affordability and accessibility. Therefore, government must lower the vat thereby ensuring every citizen's access to internet," observed FF's Executive Chief Taranath Dahal.
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