No military component in MCC: Gyawali

Kathmandu, January 20

Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today told the parliamentary party of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in the National Assembly that there was no military component in the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact programme and it was purely aimed at boosting infrastructure and alleviating poverty in the aid recipient country.

Gyawali told this to the NCP lawmakers of the upper chamber of the Parliament when the NCP Parliamentary Party held a meeting with him.

His clarification comes in the backdrop of some NCP lawmakers and leaders’ opposition to the MCC programme, who argue that the MCC is part of Indo-Pacific Strategy and if Nepal signed the programme, it would put Nepal in a military alliance with the US, the main supporter of the programme.

According to NCP lawmaker Khim Lal Bhattarai, Gyawali told the meeting that it was Nepal that chose two ‘game changer programmes’ of road and infrastructure under the MCC and that agreement was reached with India mainly because the inter-country transmission line had to be constructed in Gorakhpur of India.

“Without constructing the inter-country transmission line we cannot sell our surplus power to any foreign country,”

Bhattarai quoted Gyawali as telling lawmakers. Gyawali also said ‘unless we sell our hydro energy to foreign countries, we cannot achieve the goals of development’.

He also told the meeting that the government would not be required to sign an agreement with India for projects that did not concern the southern neighbour.

Gyawali told NCP lawmakers that the MCC was being implemented in 37 countries and there was no military component in the agreement those countries had signed.