Kathmandu, February 6
The United States government has given Nepal a deadline of February 28, 2022, to ratify the controversial MCC deal in the parliament.
Writing a letter to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and his coalition partner CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on February 3, 2022, the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation warns Nepal could lose the committed USD 500 million grant if the deal was not endorsed by the deadline.
The letter was written in response to Deuba and Dahal’s joint letter that they sent to the MCC on September 19, 2021, asking the US government to give four to five months to ratify the 2017 deal.
“Without action on your part by February 28, 2022, the MCC Board will discuss next steps at its March 2022 meeting, including whether to continue with the compact,” the letter reads, “Absent ratification, it is within the board’s authority to discontinue Nepal’s eligibility to receive the $500 million compact grant from the United States. Such a decision would end MCC’s partnership with Nepal.”
Nepali politicians and society are virtually divided about the MCC deal as many people argue the deal has some provisions against the national sovereignty and national interests whereas many others think it is a great help for the country’s development. Read more about the long-standing dispute about the MCC deal.
The ruling coalition itself does not have an agreement about what to do with the deal. Whereas Deuba wants to endorse it, Dahal and CPN-Unified Socialist chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal want to amend the deal before ratification.