Where is USD 500 million Millennieum Challenge Compact between US & Nepal government

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USD 500 million Millennieum Challenge Compact between US & Nepal governments that is mired in controversy 2.5 years after it was signed. Among the 18 participants, most argued for implementation of the agreement.

6. On the MCC, we are having debate rather that discussion. There was no need for this agreement to have been placed before Parliament in the first place. And it is not as if the sky will fall if the agreement is cancelled. – Surya Raj Acharya, infrastructure expert

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7. In democracy, there must be discussion when questions have been raised. On the MCC, it is not enough for the CPN to have a working group to study the matter, independent experts & stakeholders must be included in the discussion. – Rabindra Mishra, Coordinator Sajha Party

8. There are issues in the MCC agreement on intellectual property, auditing, export of power to India, etc. We got attracted to a USD 500 million project while willingly disregarding larger amounts, such as in the Ncell caper. – Dwarikanath Dhungel, fmr Water Resources Secretary

9. Government officials do not sign on whatever is presented to them by donors, and the MCC agreement was the result of diligent homework. To demand changes to the MCC agreement ab initio would be equal to rejecting it. – Rameshwor Khanal, fmr Finance Secretary

10. This debate on MCC at this a time seems the result of a power tussle between the former UML and Maoists in the ruling CPN. Since this is a national issue, Nepali Congress should speak, and why are the ‘young leaders’ so silent? – Reshu Aryal, Fullbright Commission

11. “We know of how the US took the place of the UK after the Second World War to destructively intervene in far corners of the globe. Let us learn from the early 1990s Enron debacle in Nepal as we consider the MCC package.” – Ajaya Dixit, water and climate expert

12. While implementing the MCC projects including transmission lines, let us not forget the environmental issues and possible dislocation of people. Rule of law must prevail in the MCC's implementation. – Som Niraula, rights advocate

13. The matter became controversial only when a State Department official claimed that MCC is part of the Indo-Pacific strategy. I and Bhim Rawal that demanded discussion in the party. On merits, I do not see a problem with the conditionalities of the MCC. – Raghu Pant, CPN

14. The MCC does not fall into the categories in which the Constitution requires obligatory approval by Parliament. However, there are several credible reasons why the MCC can and should get the parliamentary nod. – Sewanta Dahal, advocate

15. The MCC agreement has fallen victim to the power play. Ridiculous questions are being asked of MCC even as we remain silent on so many agreements, such as the extradition provisions vis-à-vis China, BRI, or the World Bank’s unproductive loans. – Bijaya Kant Karna, fmr ambassador

16. MCC is stuck not because of its provisions but because of push-and-pull within the ruling party. This is not an agreement specific to Nepal, and we must end the controversy as soon as possible. Government could hold discussions with US to clarify matters. – Bishnu Risal, CPN

17. Nepal lacks funds for infrastructure development, so must be open to loans, investments & grants from as many sources as possible. As MCC debate escalates, keep in mind that US & China are providing large sums to the army, to no debate at all. – Gagan Thapa, Nepali Congress

18. MCC's focus is on transmission lines to fill gap between power producers & market. Keep in mind entire phalanx of UML, NC & Maoist leaders were part of MCC negotiations. USD 500 million may not be much in absolute terms, but will be catalytic. – Kanak Mani Dixit,publisher HKP

19/19. As ‘nationalists’ deride MCC agreement, think of the independent power producers whose projects are tied to transmission lines that are to be built. Cancellation of MCC would also bring a banking crisis & deeply injure the economy. – Kiran Nepal, Editor HimalKP

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