Kathmandu: The United States has said that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) established in 2004 is completely unrelated to President Donald Trump’s vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific.
Speaking in a special ZOOM press briefing, Alice G. Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said that there has been a great deal of disinformation about the America assistance to Nepal.
Over the latest debate on the MCC, she said, it’s “…much more about internal politics in Nepal, and I would certainly hope that the leadership of your nation who negotiated this agreement… brought in all major political parties during the negotiations over three years…. that the leaders of your nation are going to stand up for the people of Nepal and move forward with the MCC.”
Asked about the speculation that China does not want Nepal’s endorsement of the MCC, which in turn is the reason for the opposition against it from a section of Nepal’s ruling party leaders, she said, “Government of Nepal is sovereign… it does not take dictation from China. It will do what is in the best interests of its country to advance the economic welfare of its people.”
“This program is specifically designed by [the US] Congress to provide poverty alleviation through creating greater confidence in a country’s ability to implement economic programs that are designed to unlock the blockages to growth,” she added.
“The MCC, in which Nepal government also committed another $130 million in additional funds above the $500 million that we seek to allocate, it’s designed to promote hydroelectricity transmission, including sales across border, and also to reform the road structure so that you open up the economy, potentially, to increased foreign direct investment.
“The fact that this grant assistance—not a loan, grant assistance—has become a political football is disturbing,” she said.