Minister for Finance Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada said that Nepal should not turn its face away from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement.
The US$ 500 million grant for the construction of high-powered cross-border transmission line and upgrading of strategic road is in controversy following its implementation announcement last year.
Finance Minister Dr Khatiwada warned that cancelling the agreement right before its implementation would have a severe repercussion on Nepal-USA ties and international cooperation that Nepal had been enjoying.
He urged the parliament to hold a discussion on the topic at the earliest.
The Millennium Challenge Account Nepal – as the project is named – should start its work next month as per the earlier agreement. There is a provision that the agreement should be ratified by the parliament, however.
“This agreement is being discussed in the parliament. Let’s discuss it here. It is a cooperation agreement, however we can discuss whether it’s under the security umbrella of any country,” he said. “The agreement was signed by the Ministry of Finance. It does not matter who was the minister while signing the contract. The Prime Minister has said that it was a matter of continuity of the government.”
He said that the amendments can also be made in the sub-agreements.
A committee led by Senior Leader of NCP and Former Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal had recommended that the agreement should not be ratified without amendment. If the agreement is not endorsed by the House, it will be terminated since just a month and a half remains for the commencement of the project.
Source: The Rising Nepal