Kathmandu, February 20
The government on Sunday has tabled the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact (MCC deal) signed with the United States government in 2017 in the House of Representatives, seeking its endorsement.
The endorsement, however, is not certain yet as the ruling alliance itself is divided about the controversial deal whereas the main opposition CPN-UML’s view about the deal in the recent political context is not known.
During the meeting held on Sunday, the government spokesperson Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, who had signed the agreement from the Nepali side as the finance minister in 2017, tabled the agreement. Following that, Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota adjourned the meeting until Thursday.
The then finance minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada had registered the deal in the Parliament Secretariat in July 2019. The government had not been table the agreement then owing to disputes in the then ruling Nepal Communist Party.
While the agreement was being tabled today, some leaders of the ruling alliance had expressed their discontent with the government move. The former prime minister and the senior leader of the CPN-Unified Socialist, Jhala Nath Khanal, had also gone close to the rostrum and chanted slogans against the MCC deal. On the other hand, the main opposition, UML, continued its obstruction today also as it has been demanding the resignation of the speaker over a different political issue.
The situation turned more chaotic outside the parliament building as several political cadres staged protests throughout Sunday.
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 Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba wants to endorse it, CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN-Unified Socialist chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal want to amend the deal before ratification.
The US government has given Nepal the deadline of February 28, 2022, to endorse the deal. Parliamentary endorsement is a prerequisite for its implementation.