KATHMANDU, Jan 29: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Nepal Compact is in the interest of the nation.
“There is no need to debate unnecessarily on the MMC deal. Nepal reached an agreement with the United States (in 2017) following a long process. The MCC is in the interest of the nation,” said the prime minister while addressing the party’s central committee meeting at the City Hall on Wednesday.
The MCC, under which the US will provide a $500 million grant for the project that will prioritize electricity transmission and road improvements, was sent to the parliament for ratification in July last year.
“The MCC should have been endorsed earlier and without any delay,” he said
Speculations are rife that the MCC is part of the Indo-pacific strategy which will pave way for the US to deploy its military force in Nepal.
But PM Oli said MCC and Indo-pacific strategy are different things, and there is “no need to link them together”.
“It is worthless to link the MCC and the Indo-pacific strategy. Altogether 49 countries from Asia, Africa and South America have signed the agreement. There is no military component to the MCC. It is an economic help to Nepal. Thus, we should give importance to our priority, which is development and prosperity.”
The US Embassy in Kathmandu earlier in “top ten facts about the MCC in Nepal” has already clarified that the MCC Nepal Compact has “no military component and is purely focused on economic development by helping to build power lines and improve roads”.
Although the main opposition party Nepali Congress has clarified its position on the MCC arguing it should be passed without any delay, the opinion of the ruling party itself is divided over the US grant.
441 central members participating in the NCP’s week-long central committee meeting which will run till February 5.
This is the second central committee meeting of the NCP since the unification between former CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Center in May 2018.