PM Deuba reveals Maoist’s agreement to endorse MCC compact through Parliament

Agreement from Prachanda is believed to be crucial to implement the long-awaited $500 million project of power grid and strategic road maintenance.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has revealed that the ruling coalition will move ahead with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact.

Speaking with journalists on Thursday after his arrival after attending COP26, the prime minister revealed that the two major coalition partners–Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center)–had already sent a letter to the MCC Headquarters, assuring that the agreement will be endorsed through the Parliament.

Prime Minister Deuba said, “Prachanda and I have already sent a letter saying that we will ensure the endorsement of the MCC.” Maoist leader Prachanda, however, has yet to comment on the matter. 

Deuba said that MCC Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexia Latortue had asked him for approval of the Compact through the Parliament.

[Related: Exclusive Interview | ‘It is important for Parliament to move forward now or decide that Nepalis no longer need an MCC grant’: Fatema Z Sumar]

Deuba assured the Deputy CEO that the ruling coalition will take it forward. MCC Deputy Chief Executive Officer Latortue and PM Deuba held a meeting on Tuesday on the sidelines of the COP26–the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Prime Minister said that he clarified to Latortue that the Parliament session was prorogued for issuing ordinances.

Recently, MCC had expressed concerns over the government of Nepal delaying to decide the fate of the compact. 

MCC Nepal Compact was signed between the government of Nepal and the MCC in May 2017. Since the Compact was registered in parliament for ratification process in 2019, it remains stuck as political parties are sharply divided over whether the Compact is to be ratified in its current format or it should be given a go-ahead only after amendment.

Amid uncertainties, the Ministry of Finance recently sent a letter to the MCC office in Washington DC seeking clarifications on issues related to MCC’s Nepal Compact which have become a matter of debate in Nepal’s political and public sphere.

[Related: What will Nepali Congress do about the MCC Compact?]

There has been no progress on Compact ratification nearly two months after the exchange of letters between the MCC and the government of Nepal and nearly one and half months since the Nepal visit of MCC Vice President Fatema Z Sumar.

On September 14, 2017, Nepal signed a 500 million US dollars Compact with the MCC, the US foreign assistance agency, at the US State Department in Washington DC. On behalf of Nepal, Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, Finance Minister at the time, signed the Compact with MCC’s Acting CEO Jonathan Nash. Sher Bahadur Deuba was the Prime Minister of Nepal at the time.