MCC discusses next steps with government

Kathmandu, October 5

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Regional Deputy Vice President for Compact Operations, Fatema Sumar met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the minister for energy, minister for physical infrastructure and transport, and key government officials during his visit to Nepal this week to discuss development of MCC compact with the Nepal government.

In meetings with Prime Minister Dahal, Minister of Energy Janardan Sharma, and Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak, Sumar updated the government on the new feasibility studies that have recently been launched by MCC as part of a $10 million grant to the Nepal government for compact development.

The feasibility studies focus on electricity transmission line projects and will inform compact programme design and preparation. In addition, Sumar updated government officials on proposed investments in off-grid energy and road transport projects.

“MCC and the Nepal government have made significant progress toward developing a compact that will unlock widespread and sustainable economic growth,” said Sumar during the meeting with the prime minister and other ministers. “Through our partnership, we will continue to work together to finalise the compact agreement and power sector operational environment that supports electricity and transport sectors and improve the lives of the people of Nepal.”

Nepal was first selected by MCC’s board of directors as eligible for compact in December 2014. MCC and the Nepal government are developing projects that tackle key constraints to economic growth in the country, including inadequate supply of power and high cost of transportation.

MCC, created by the US Congress in 2004, offers grants through compact and threshold programmes. Under the threshold programme, smaller-scale grants are awarded to countries that are firmly committed to improving policy performance.

The government has been preparing to submit projects that the country is willing to obtain investment for very shortly. The MCC, under the compact programme, can extend grant of up to $689 million to Nepal.