October 17: The decision to construct New Butwal-New Gorakhpur Cross-border Transmission Line between Nepal and India has opened door for investment from the US-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
The agreement between India and Nepal to go ahead with the second cross-border transmission line has fulfilled one major pre-conditions set by the MCC. The independent fund set up by the United States for poverty reduction had demanded construction of this transmission line in order to release grants of Rs 56 billion to Nepal.
However, the Nepal can utilize the fund only after agreement signed with MCC is endorsed by the parliament. Nepal-based Millennium Challenge Account has already declared the date of Entry Into Force (EIF) for the implementation of the project within June 30, 2020. If Nepal fails to complete the transmission line within five years from the EIF, the grant allocated for the project will be returned back.
Failure to reach an agreement to start the transmission line by June 30 next year would have deprived Nepal from receiving the grant from MCC.
However, timely agreement in this regard has opened a new prospect of Nepal receiving funds from the MCC, said executive director of MCA Khadga Bista.
A secretary-level meeting of India and Nepal on Tuesday had agreed on the investment modality of the transmission line.