Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba Friday told Vice President of Compact Operations of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Fatema Z. Sumar that he was continuing discussions at the political level to push ahead with the MCC Compact programme.
In a meeting with a delegation of the MCC led by Sumar this evening, Prime Minister Deuba discussed about the MCC grant programme to Nepal for the development of electricity transmission line and road maintenance project.
They also discussed the possible cooperation from the MCC in Nepal’s economic development.
Sumar expressed her belief that the MCC compact would be ratified by the parliament at the earliest.
Earlier on Friday, Sumar paid a call to Chairman of CPN (MC) Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda at the latter’s residence in Khumaltar.
During the meeting, Prachanda said that his party was clear on moving ahead with the MMC Compact Programme with consensus among all political parties in Nepal.
As informed by Prachanda’s Press Coordinator Bishnu Sapkota (Jugal), the meeting lasted for about an hour and various aspects of MCC Compact and Nepal-United States bilateral relations were discussed.
Upon her arrival in the Capital on Thursday, Sumar held meetings with chairman of main opposition party CPN (UML) KP Sharma Oli at the latter’s residence in Balkot, Bhaktapur and Chairman of the CPN (Unified Socialist) Madhav Kumar Nepal at his party office in Singha Durbar. In the meetings, she had urged them to take the programme forward for the ratification process. She said that the USA wanted to complete the process and implement the project.
In response, Oli said that his party was waiting for the position of the government on the matter and would give his opinion after that.
Likewise, Nepal said that the confusion about the nature of the support was created from the US side and stated that the issue was an agenda of discussion in the ruling coalition and his party would have a say after the discussion with the coalition partners.
Sumar will also meet Minister for Finance Janardan Sharma. She had arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday for a four-day visit to Nepal to facilitate the implementation of MCC-Nepal Infrastructure Programme.
She is leading a delegation, which includes Deputy Vice President of the MCC Jonathan Brooks, to explorer the ways to garner support for the ratification process of the Nepal Compact from the parliament.
The Embassy of the USA in Kathmandu, said on Thursday that she would discuss the required next steps to implement the US$500 million MCC-Nepal infrastructure programme, address the clarification questions provided by the Ministry of Finance, and hear from the people of Nepal.
Earlier, in December 2019, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) – Nepal, the implementing agency of the MCC grant programme in the country, had appealed to the parliament for the timely ratification of the project as it was set to kick off on June 30, 2020.
The US$ 630 million, $500 million from the MCC and $130 million from Nepal – programme, aims at developing large transmission lines, including Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission facility, and rehabilitate strategic roads.
The Electricity Transmission Project will build 312 km of 400 kV electricity transmission lines and three substations and provide technical assistance for the power sector in Nepal.
Likewise, the Road Maintenance Project aims to enhance current practices in the maintenance of Nepal’s strategic roads network and will provide technical assistance to the Department of Roads (DoR) and Roads Board Nepal.
Source : TRN,