MCC endorsement after implementing taskforce suggestions, says Minister Gyawali

Kathmandu, March 2

Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today said the government would get the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Programme endorsed from the Parliament after incorporating recommendations of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) taskforce led by Jhalanath Khanal.

Amid sharp division within NCP over some of the ‘contentious’ clauses in the MCC agreement, the ruling party had formed a three-member taskforce with Khanal, Gyawali and NCP Standing Committee member Bhim Rawal to study the agreement.

The Khanal-led team had on February 21 submitted its report to NCP (NCP) co-chairpersons KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, unanimously recommending that the MCC agreement could be endorsed only after amending the agreement. Upon submission of the report, Khanal had said there were many shortcomings in the agreement and some of the provisions of the MCC agreement undermined Nepal’s sovereignty and independence.

Gyawali’s statement comes at a time when Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Gyawali himself had been opining that the MCC agreement would be endorsed by the Parliament without revision.

“The government has registered the MCC agreement in the Parliament with a view to endorsing it. The government’s position is also the same,” said Gyawali at a press conference here.

“However, after some suggestions from the party, the agreement will be endorsed by the Parliament after implementing the taskforce’s suggestions.”

Gyawali, however, did not divulge details of the taskforce’s suggestion. He said he would speak about it once the chairmen duo took a decision on the matter.

Dahal, however, has said he is not in favour of compromising national interest in the name of 500 million dollars US grant. Gyawali’s statement also comes at a time when American officials have clearly ruled out any possibility of amendment to the MCC agreement.