Squabbling over MCC baseless: Diplomats, economists

Khabarhub

December 26, 2019

4 MIN READ

Squabbling over MCC baseless: Diplomats, economists
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KATHMANDU: At a time when Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has been seen with suspicion by a section of the society, mainly a handful of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders, former diplomats and economists have unanimously urged parliamentarians to endorse it without further delay.

Former Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission and economist Dr Swarnim Wagle says squabbling on the issue is worthless while making it a point to label the act as a ‘gesture of indiscretion’.

In Dr. Wagle’s views, opposing the endorsement and implementation of MCC is nothing but a lack of thorough historical acquaintance on the issue.

In fact, one should clearly comprehend the benefit of MCC as a country like Nepal has an opportunity to increase economic growth besides enhancing regional connectivity through a partnership with the United States MCC.

“Failure to endorse the MCC will lead to unfortunate circumstances,” he told Khabarhub.

His opinions come at a time when some standing committee members of the ruling NCP are opposed to the idea of endorsing the MCC from the winter session of the parliament.

However, Prime Minister K P Oli and Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali have already expressed their commitment to endorse it from the parliament.

Diplomat Dr. Jaya Raj Acharya echoes Dr. Wagle’s opinion saying that the political parties should not dillydally to move ahead with it.

“When the $500 million U.S. grant investment will benefit over 80 percent of the Nepali populace, what’s there in hesitating to endorse it?” queries Dr. Acharya.

The fact that the United States is Nepal’s major donor country and development partner should not be disregarded.

For former ambassador Madhu Raman Acharya, it is pointless to provoke unnecessary debates on the MCC.

“Further delaying it would simply breed unwarranted abstruseness with the United States, which is Nepal’s friendly nation,” he argues adding, “What needs to be understood is since this is only a grant, Nepal should not linger it.”

Dr. Khadga KC, a member of the Institute of Foreign Affairs, suggests Nepal should not dilly-dally in ratifying it from the parliament. “Why such a hullabaloo on the issue?” he queried.

Clarifying that Nepal would not come under pressure to join a power country by endorsing the MCC, Nepali Congress leader, and former Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki – the then minister to sign the agreement – suggests that Nepal would benefit from the MCC.

“The parliament should not dillydally in moving ahead with it,” Karki claimed.

Even NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha insists that his party has not taken it otherwise saying that the ruling party would make a decision ‘anytime soon’.

Former Foreign Minister Dr. Prakash Saran Mahat echoes similar views saying that people should understand that the MCC is not a part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy and that it needs to be approved by the parliament without further delay.

Government’s spokesperson and Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Baskota terms it meaningless to spark unnecessary debates on the issue. “The Parliament will approve it,” he confirmed.

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