KATHMANDU : The Nepal Communist Party has decided to approve the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact with ‘some amendments,’ paving way for the government to proceed with the parliamentary ratification of the agreement that will secure Nepal a $500 million grant from the United States.
The decision of the standing committee meeting of the main ruling NCP is also expected to end a long intra-party conflict over tMCC, the biggest grant from the US to Nepal.
Prior to this, the opposition within the main ruling party had dragged the MCC Compact into controversy. However, the party has not made immediately clear what amendments it is now seeking on the MCC agreement.
“In regards to MCC [Compact], the meeting has decided to endorse it after necessary amendments and revisions,” said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the NCP spokesperson. “ But what needs to be amended and revised will be further discussed in the party,” he added.
Although the standing committee meeting principally agreed to approve the MCC agreement with necessary amendments, the party is yet to make a formal decision, according to a party source.
The agreement signed between the Nepal government and the United States in 2017 for the MCC Compact is still awaiting the parliament’s approval.
Amidst protests from some NCP leaders against the MCC Compact, the main ruling party’s second central committee meeting had formed a three-member task force to include suggestions and provide the party with recommendations on whether the MCC agreement should be approved.
The task force led by the party’s senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal, also includes Rawal and standing committee member Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.
The task force in its report has reportedly recommended the party to make necessary amendments on ‘certain controversial’ provisions before endorsing the MCC Compact Agreement.
If possible, the two sides could aim for a supplement agreement to clarify and amend some of the provisions in the MCC Compact, according to a recommendation made by the task force in its report.