Kathmandu, September 11
The ruling Nepal Communist Party has decided to amend, and then endorse, the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation deal signed between the governments of Nepal and the United States in 2017.
A meeting of the party’s standing committee held on Friday made the decision.
The party, however, is yet to decide which clauses of the agreement will be amended in what way. The party’s spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha says the party will discuss further on this issue based on a report submitted by a task force led by Jhala Nath Khanal in February.
The deal has not been implemented so far as the Federal Parliament has not endorsed the deal, which is an essential requirement for its implementation. The ruling party is largely divided over the issue. While Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was pressing for its endorsement, another chairman of the party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, had sought some amendments.
The division was seen when the three-member task force that the party formed to resolve the issue also could not forge consensus while submitting its report in February. Whereas two members–Jhala Nath Khanal and Bhim Rawal–said endorsing the agreement and implementing it without any amendments could be against national interests, the third member, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, insisted the country could benefit from the grant.
But recently, both the chairmen had reportedly agreed to seek amendments before the House okays it form implementation.
Dahal ‘executive’ chair, convention in April 2021
Meanwhile, the meeting also endorsed a proposal to make Oli focus on the government’s functioning and Dahal on the party as suggested by a task force formed to suggest solutions to a recent dispute between them.
The meeting also agreed to hold the party’s general conversation on April 7-12, 2021, in Kathmandu.