Gagan Thapa forwards a strong reason for MCC Compact ratification 

The Nepali Congress General Secretary says Nepal should ask for more grants from China and India as well.

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: Giving strong-worded statements in the support of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s $500 million Nepal Compact, General Secretary of Nepali Congress Gagan Thapa has said that Nepal needs the support of all its neighbors for the development of the nation.

Thapa was speaking in parliament during the deliberations on the MCC Compact.

“The reality is that Nepal’s domestic resources are not even enough for recurrent expenditure. We need everyone’s support. Let’s ratify the Compact,” said Thapa. “After MCC’s ratification, let’s ask China to provide $ 700 million, saying the United States gave us $ 500 million. Then let’s ask India for $ 800 million, saying China gave us $ 700 million,” said Thapa.

Thapa argued that it would be difficult for Nepal to conduct infrastructure projects without foreign support. “We can receive any grant from our friendly country in line with our foreign policy,” he said.

“Nepal needs resources for development. We need support from foreign countries for the same. Be it loans or grants, Nepal should take benefits from foreign countries,” he said.

In the parliament, he reminded that nearly all political parties have been part of the MCC process.

It was initiated when Madhav Nepal was the prime minister, the decision was reached when Jhalanath Khanal was the PM. “Nearly everyone in this hall has been involved in the MCC process,” he said. 

Countering the argument of Maoist leader Giri Raj Mani Pokhrel that MCC Compact is rastraghati (against the nation), he reminded that Pokhrel was the cabinet minister in the government which signed the Compact in 2017.

[Related: Deliberations on much-debated MCC Compact in parliament: Who said what?]

Thapa came strongly against those who are spreading misinformation against the Compact and lying to the people.

“How long will you lie to the people? ” He asked. “Let’s not spread the misinformation that the Compact is above the constitution of Nepal.”

Thapa argued that parliament should make things clear about the Compact and people in the streets should also be educated from the sovereign parliament.

Supporting the ‘interpretive declaration,’ he said that parliament should endorse that declaration, which, he said, would be accepted by the MCC. “If they don’t accept it, the Compact won’t move forward,” he said. “We need to be able to reject it, if the Compact is not implemented, abiding by every letter mentioned there,” he added.

He also argued that Nepal should be able to face geopolitical challenges, rather than running away from such challenges. “Which is why we signed BIPPA with India, BRI with China and the MCC with the US.”

Meanwhile, he also mentioned that Nepal cannot be a part of any military alliance. “We can move ahead clearly as per the guidelines of the constitution,” he said.