September 12: Vice-President of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Fatema Sumar, has uarged Finance Minister Janardan Sharma to ratify the MCC grant agreement at the earliest. Sumar made such appeal while paying a courtesy call on the finance minister at his office in Singha Durbar on Saturday, September 11.
During the meeting, the two discussed at length about different aspects of the MCC project under which Nepal is entitled to receive USD 500 million in grants.
According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Minister Sharma told the visiting delegate that the issues relating to the MCC was being discussed at political level in Nepal. The press statement reads that discussions are being held at political level about the compact signed between the MCC and Nepal in 2017.
The statement added that Sumar urged Minister Sharma to ratify the agreement from parliament at the earliest and implement it without any further delay.
The MCC delegation led by Sumar has already held meetings with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Energy Minister Pampha Bhusal and CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The visiting team had also held a meeting with CPN (UML) Chairperson KP Sharma Oli, CPN (Unified Socialist) Chairperson Madhav Kumar Nepal and senior leaders of Janata Samajwadi Party Nepal (JSP) on Thursday.
The MCC which forms partnerships with developing countries like Nepal for good governance, economic reform and investment is ready to assist Nepal in construction of infrastructures including 312 km road and 400 KV transmission.
The MCC has pledged over Rs 50 billion for these projects while the Government of Nepal will be contributing Rs 12 billion.
Political parties are divided over endorsement of the MCC grant agreement. The CPN UML government led by KP Sharma Oli, which had been pressing for its endorsement, has now adopted a wait-and-watch policy after becoming the main opposition party.
In this context, the MCC delegation led by Sumar had arrived in Nepal on a four-day visit last Thursday (September 9) to expedite the project. The team is scheduled to return back today (September 12).