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House endorses MCC Nepal compact with interpretative declaration

House endorses MCC Nepal compact with interpretative declaration

The second meeting of the Legislature-Parliament held on Sunday endorsed the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Nepal compact with interpretative declaration.

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma proposed a 12-point interpretative declaration incorporating the questions raised about the MCC agreement, which was endorsed by the Parliament along with the MCC.

The meeting ratified the $500 million grant compact amidst obstruction by the main opposition CPN-UML.

During the meeting, Minister Sharma proposed that the MCC compact be endorsed. Later, Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota presented the proposal which was endorsed with a majority of votes.

Earlier, the compact was discussed in principle in the first meeting.

CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal among ruling coalition lawmakers expressed their dissatisfaction over the government decision to pass the MCC and raised several questions about the grant.

Responding to the queries, Finance Minister Sharma said that the government will not make any agreement against the nation.

What is the MCC agreement?

MCC compact is an assistance under which the United States will provide $500 million to Nepal for electricity transmission lines and road maintenance.

As per the agreement, the five-year project will come into implementation under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Nepal.

Under this project, the government will construct a 300 km long 400 KV transmission line from Lapsiphedi to Sunauli bordering India. The 305 km long road from Butwal to Banke via Dang will be upgraded.

The government of Nepal signed the agreement with the United States for the MCC project on September 14, 2017.

The then Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki on behalf of the government signed an agreement with MCC Acting CEO Jonatha Nas in Washington on September 14,2017.

The then Finance Minister Yuvaraj Khatiwada signed an agreement for the implementation of the MCC on September 29, 2019.

The compact was registered in the Parliament Secretariat on July 15, 2019 for the endorsement.

The MCC was tabled in the Parliament on February 20, 2022 nearly 20 months after it was registered in the Parliament Secretariat.

The agreement was endorsed with a majority of votes on Sunday.