USD 500 million MCC grant will boost Nepal’s power sector: US

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The United States has praised Nepal for ratifying Washington’s controversial CC 500 million MCC grant, saying it would result in more jobs in the Himalayan country, more reliable power supply and transportation. Costs will be reduced.

 

The Nepalese parliament on Sunday ratified the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement with an explanatory statement, one day ahead of the February 28 deadline set by the United States, sparking months of debate and protests in the country and before the end of political polarization.

In a press statement issued after the ratification of the grant by the House of Representatives of Nepal on Sunday, the US Embassy in Kathmandu said that the decision to ratify the MCC agreement was always with the Government of Nepal as an independent democracy. Is.

 

“Today’s decision by Parliament to live up to its signed and compact ratification will mean more jobs, a reliable supply of electricity and lower transportation costs for the Nepalese people,” the embassy said.

 

The statement added that in the 20 years since its inception, MCC Compact has partnered with developing countries to help alleviate global poverty by committing to economic freedom, investment in citizenship and good governance

The Nepalese government signed the MCC agreement in 2017 after setting its own goals for modernizing Nepal’s energy and transport sectors, hoping to help more than 23 million Nepalese. The Nepalese government will now be able to continue working to implement the five-year program.

Nepal’s political parties were divided over whether to accept US grant aid, amid fears that the MCC agreement could harm the country’s sovereignty.

 

Partners in the ruling coalition, including the CPN-Maoist Center led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and the CPN-Unified Socialist led by Madhu Kumar Nepal, agreed to move the agreement forward, but with a With the inclusion of the declaration, which aims to remove confusion.

The US Embassy said it has always stood by Nepal through changes and has supported the country in its diplomatic relations over the past 75 years in development assistance, disaster relief and preparedness assistance, health and education programs and much more. Is.

“US relations with Nepal are broader than an agreement and we will continue to support the country, its democratic values ​​and its long-term economic prosperity,” the statement said.

 

Senior Nepali leaders said the MCC agreement should be pursued as a purely economic plan without violating Nepal’s sovereignty and without violating Nepal’s constitution and law.

The MCC dragged Nepal into a geopolitical game, with Beijing mocking Washington for providing an “ultimatum” to Nepal for the second time in a week, the first to force the United States to use diplomacy in Nepal. Warned against

 

China is wary of US infiltration into Nepal, where it has for many years increased its influence among influential Marxist parties.

 

Currently, the Nepali Congress is leading the ruling coalition in Kathmandu, which includes the major left-wing parties – the CPN-Maoist Center CPN-Unified Socialist.

China, whose political influence and investment in Nepal has grown significantly, especially under pro-Beijing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, has been largely silenced since Prime Minister Deuba in recent months. – Proponents of a diplomatically balanced foreign policy with close ties. With India – took power last year.

Under MCC Compact, 315 km double circuit 400KV transmission line will be constructed. The transmission lines will be divided into five sections – New Batwal-India Border (18 km), New Butwal-New Damauli (90 km), New Damauli-Ratmate (90 km), Ratmate-New Hetauda (58 km), and Ratmate-Lapsephedi (59 km).

Once completed, these infrastructure projects are expected to provide the existing high voltage grid in Nepal with an important missing link for various river basin power projects. He said a portion of USD 500 million would be spent on improving road projects.

 

The 12-point explanatory statement made it clear that the MCC, being part of Compact Nepal, would not be bound to be part of a security alliance such as the US military strategy or the Indo-Pacific strategy.

 

It also states that the conduct of the MCC will be regulated by the prevailing laws of Nepal and that the MCC will have no ownership of intellectual property.

The MCC is a bilateral United States foreign aid agency established by the US Congress in 2004. It is an independent body separate from the State Department and USAID.

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