Senior Leader of CPN (Unified Socialist) Jhala Nath Khanal has said that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact cannot be passed in its current form.
"I have no official information on what the government is doing about MCC. But it should only be passed in a way that it is in larger national interest. We should hold official discussion with America on the basis of report we provided earlier," Khanal told Setopati on Monday.
"There is no need to bring projects that can affect sovereignty of the country. We can build roads and transmission lines with our own resources. We will not face scarcity of resources even if we can cut the current level of corruption by just 10 percent."
The MCC has been stuck at the House for a long time. It was to enter the construction phase from June 30, 2020 after House endorsement as per the previous schedule but could not be passed as the then ruling CPN was bitterly divided over the issue.
But government officials have been insisting the MCC is still not dead pointing that nowhere is it written that the agreement will be revoked if it is not endorsed by the House by that date.
The then CPN, formed after unification of UML and CPN (Maoist Center), had hotly debated MCC even during the standing committee meeting in December 2019 with the erstwhile Maoists and those from Madhav Kumar Nepal faction of CPN-UML 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 then CPN had even formed a task force to address the issue. The party formed the task force led by senior leader Jhala Nath Khanal and including the then foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali and standing committee member Bhim Rawal as members 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. But Gyawali had put a 15-point dissenting opinion.
The party had discussed the MCC in many meetings leading up to the June 30 deadline but failed to reach agreement.