US Embassy said the decision of Nepali leaders whether to ratify MCC is for Nepal to make as a sovereign democratic nation and Nepal’s decision alone….reports Asian Lite News
United States has clarified that Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) ratification is Nepal’s sovereign decision, as the deadline to ratify the pact approaches.
Issuing a release on Saturday late evening, the Embassy of the United States in Nepal stated that the decision of Nepali leaders whether to ratify MCC is for Nepal to make as a sovereign democratic nation and Nepal’s decision alone.
“This year marks the 75th year of ties between Nepal and the United States. During these 75 years, Nepal has seen monumental changes. We have stood with Nepal through these changes and supported the country with development aid, disaster response and preparedness assistance, health and education programs, and more,” the release stated.
Further adding it stated “Whether Nepali leaders ratify MCC is a decision for Nepal to make, as a sovereign democratic nation, and Nepal’s decision alone. This USD 500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant is a gift from the American people and a partnership between our nations that will bring jobs and infrastructure to Nepal and improve the lives of Nepalis. This project was requested by the Nepali government and the Nepali people and designed to transparently reduce poverty and grow the economy of Nepal.”
The US government aid agency, MCC had agreed in 2017 to provide USD 500 million in grants cross-border electricity transmission and road connectivity. There has been a delay in Parliament approval for the project due to disagreements among political parties and there are protests against the proposed project on a daily basis in Nepal.
The multi-million dollar pact which needs to be ratified by parliament is being contested now as political parties of Nepal debated on whether to accept or reject it. With the nation divided over the pact, the government under the leadership of Sher Bahadur Deuba has withdrawn its earlier decision to table the pact in the parliament.
The public in Nepal has been driven by misinformation about the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US Foreign Assistance Agency that aims to fight poverty, as a military pact. Despite the fact that Nepal was first country in region to qualify for program and an agreement to this effect was signed in September 2017, some opposition leaders have been claiming otherwise.
Meanwhile, the US has conveyed to Kathmandu that it would be forced to review its relations with Nepal if the country fails to keep up with its commitments on the USD 500 million MCC grant signed nearly five years ago.
Earlier this month, US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu said that Washington will review its relations with Nepal in the event of its failure to ratify the MCC compact from Parliament by February 28.
Earlier, MCC vice president Fatema Z Sumar had said that the February 28 deadline was set by Prime Minister Deuba and Maoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal through a letter the two leaders dispatched to the MCC Board chairman, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
However, the MCC continues to hang in balance as successive governments in Nepal have failed to get the grant ratified by the parliament. (ANI)