Vice President of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Fatema Z. Sumar and assistant Vice President Jonathan Brooks have arrived in Kathmandu for a four-day visit.
Vice President Sumar along with her team landed in Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) today morning.
Meanwhile, prior to Sumar’s visit, the MCC had furnished a written response to the government of Nepal clarifying the disputed provisions of the compact.
The 13-page written response was issued by vice president Sumar in the name of Finance Minister Janardan Sharma.
In the response, the MCC has clarified that its main objective was to eradicate poverty by fostering economic growth. “The grant is being provided to Nepal solely to complete construction projects of transmission lines and roadways that are considered important for economic growth,” read the letter.
Similarly, the MCC has said that Nepal’s Constitution would prevail over the MCC Compact. “A compact’s status as an international agreement is critical in ensuring that its implementation would proceed without delay, which is important as the compact must be implemented within five years,” read the MCC’s response. “In practical terms, the implementation of compact projects will proceed in accordance with the laws of Nepal except in rare instances where local law conflicts with specific provisions in compact.”
The MCC said that in such cases, compact projects would be implemented according to the mutually agreed terms of the compact and the Constitution of Nepal.
Addressing the question raised by Nepal whether it was a part of the USA’s ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’ or not, the MCC responded that the MCC agreement did not fall under the States’ strategy. “MCC compacts are agreements between MCC and the partner government. The strong relationship between the United States and Nepal long pre-dates the Indo-Pacific Strategy,” it said, adding that the MCC Nepal Compact was neither part of any military strategy of the United States.
The MCC further said that it was committed to holding an open and transparent dialogue with the people of Nepal and it saw the exchange of questions and response as a positive step towards ratification of the MCC compact.
The response mentioned that all projects funded by the MCC Nepal Compact were selected by Nepal Government in consultation with the private sectors and civil societies.
“This grant programme will benefit nearly 23 million people by providing more reliable electricity and lowering the cost of transportation and energy,”
said vice president Sumar through the statement, adding, “The compact is a continuation of our mutual friendship and underscores the government of Nepal’s commitment to democratic principles and building a better future for all Nepalis.”
The Ministry of Finance had issued an 11-point letter to the MCC on Friday last week seeking clarification on the disputed matters.
Source : TRN,