Kathmandu, Nepal, September 7, 2021: The government has initiated process to endorse the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the multi million US aid project, from the parliament, which is scheduled from Wednesday.
Withstanding to the possible protests while initiating process to endorse the MCC from the parliament, the government has already directed the three security agencies- Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department to keep vigilance over the possible agitation while initiating process to endorse the MCC from the parliament.
Though almost all the political parties represent in the parliament including the main opposition CPN UML are in favor of the MCC, some leaders and section of the society have stand against of the MCC expressing fear that the conditions put forth to accept the MCC funds would jeopardize integrity and sovereignty of Nepal.
The government has already sought consent from the main opposition UML regarding the endorsement of the MCC from the parliament. Though some leaders of the party including vice chairman Bhim Bahadur Rawal have protested the MCC, almost all the leaders of the party including chairman KP Oli, who is also the former Prime Minister, are in favor of MCC.
Responding to the concerns raised against the MCC from different corners, the government has already written a letter to the US government seeking clarifications on the contentious issues related to the conditions mentioned while implementing the MCC. The Ministry of Finance had sent a letter to the MCC headquarters in Washington DC on Friday seeking clarification through the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
The government has sought clarifications mainly on four issues. In the letter, the government has stated that whether the MCC was part of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, whether the MCC was linked to US security policy, whether the MCC agreement is subject to the law of Nepal and whether it has to be passed by the parliament. Likewise, the government has also asked to make clarify over the issue of audit system as well.
The Nepal and US government had signed in the agreement on April 5, 2017 to implement the MCC project in Nepal. Though the agreement was registered for approval on July 15, 2019, it is not endorsed from the parliament to launch officially the MCC project.
Under the agreement, Nepal will receive US$ 500 million (approximately Rs. 60 billion Nepalese rupees) for the construction of power transmission lines and road maintenance in the country.