MCC dominates NCP plenum, but Minister says – Plenum and Parliament both will endorse it

Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 31 January 2020) – In an ongoing central committee meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, the members have divided on whether to endorse the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) or not from the parliament. Majority of them have moderately said that the MCC should be passed from the parliament after being confirmed that it will not harm sovereignty of Nepal.

But spokesperson of the government Gokul Prasad Banskota seems sure and says it will be endorsed from the current session of parliament. Yesrerday in a regular press conference he reiterated the the same. He further said even the central committee meeting will also pass it. Baskota said that the ongoing second plenary Central Committee meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) will endorse the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) project of the American government.

Speaking at a weekly press meet organised to make the cabinet decisions public at the Ministry this afternoon, Minister Baskota said that the project had gone into an implementation phase with its registration at the House of Representatives.

“Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli during his address on the first day of the CC meeting of the party on Wednesday has made it clear that the MCC will be endorsed to pave the way for its implementation, so there is no need to cast doubt any longer,” Minister Baskota said.

The MCC project should not be made a mere propaganda tool for political consumption in the public sphere, he said.
Minister Baskota, who is also the government spokesperson, said that the government had taken Rs. 56 billion assistance from Chinese government for next three years, Rs. 75 billion as loan assistance from the government of India during the time of Gorkha earthquake, and Rs. 55 billion that had been provided by the U.S. government, which should not be made a matter of huge concerns and criticisms.
Apart from Nepal, 49 other countries in the world including Sri Lanka have taken this type of assistance from the U.S. government and these countries should be taken as reference in Nepal, he said. He recalled that Nepal had taken foreign assistance even during the time of cold war. “How can a country like Nepal which is in the list of developing nations, could upgrade and become prosperous without accepting such a big project provided by number 1 economic power house nation?” Minister Baskota questioned.
Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) doesn’t have anything to do with the MCC project, they are two different things, he said. “IPS is the sole idea and policy of the U.S. government and the government of Nepal, as a member of the Non-alignment Movement (NAM) nation, there comes no point of being involved in any military alliance with the U.S. as rumoured in the public,” Minister Baskota said.
He further clarified that BRI of China and MCC of the U.S. government were not framed under geo-strategic policy, but were related and more concerned with Nepal’s economic prosperity, energy and transport development.
Minister Baskota also claimed that the government of India had agreed for the transmission of Nepal’s electricity to India after MCC project and then to Bangladesh in the future.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Council of Ministers held at the official residence of Prime of Minister KP Sharma Oli in Baluwatar on January 27, took various 17 decisions.
The cabinet meeting decided to form a seven-member dialogue committee headed by joint-secretary at the Ministry of Finance for accepting a loan assistance of USD 50 million to be provided by International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank.
The money to be received from the IDA would be utilized for climate change and disaster recovery and minimisation programmes, according to Minister Baskota.
The cabinet decided to extend the term of Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) by one year.
The government has appointed Dr. Nirmal Lamichhane of Sorahawa-1 of Bardiya district as chairman of the board of directors of B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital for three years.

The government has given approval to table a bill made to amend Military Act-2006 at the Federal Parliament and decided to extend the term of management responsibility of the Annapurna Conservation Area Management responsibility given to the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) by one year.
The government nominated Tribhuvan University’s Vice-chancellor Prof. Dr. Dharma Kanta Baskota and Prof. Dr. Ramkantha Makaju, Vice-chancellor of Kathmandu University, as members of the University Grant Commission (UGC).
The government has given a nod to Nepaltar Land Pooling Project for getting 123.34 ropanis of land located at Phidim Municipality-2 in Panchthar district.
The government has also given permission to table two separate bills prepared for amendment and integration of immigration law and law related to statistics at the Federal Parliament.
Similarly, the government has allowed to table four separate bills – Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences (first amendment) bill, Copyrights Act (first amendment) bill, bill prepared for institution of the management of Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, and Nepal Aviation Service Authority – at the Federal Parliament.  

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