Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali has said the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) should be endorsed during the current session of the parliament.
Gyawali, who is also standing committee member of the ruling CPN and was part of the task force formed by the party to study about MCC, told Setopati that not passing the MCC Compact during the current session will create additional uncertainties.
The task force, led by senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal and also including standing committee member Bhim Rawal, has recommended that the MCC should be endorsed only after amendment.
"MCC should have been endorsed during the previous (ninth) session. Nepal government has been bearing all the expenses incurred since September related to works before start of the projects. There should, therefore, be no further delay," Minister Gyawali reasoned. "I am confident that the party will reach a conclusion and the government will also conclude it considering the level of assistance for development projects in Nepal and the concerns raised now."
The ruling CPN is divided on the issue of MCC.
CPN had hotly debated MCC during the recent standing committee meeting with the erstwhile Maoists and those from Madhav Kumar Nepal faction opposing it saying it should only be passed if it becomes clear that it is not part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy floated by America.
The US embassy in Kathmandu later issued a 10-point statement clarifying that the MCC is not part of military affairs.
The press statement, which it said was in response to a large number of queries from Nepali citizens, politicians, and members of the media about the MCC, claimed that every Nepali government since 2012 has been in favor of the MCC and that there is no military component to the compact.
The issue was raised even during the central committee meeting that concluded on February 2 and the party formed a task force to address the issue. The party formed the task force led by senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal and including Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and standing committee member Bhim Rawal as members on February 2 to study MCC to find out whether it is part of the American military strategy or not.
The task force recommended that it should not be endorsed without amendment.