PM for revising MCC deal: Dahal

Kathmandu, February 22

Days after media reports quoted Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli as saying formation of the taskforce by the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to recommend on the Millennium Challenge Corporation Programme was uncalled for at this stage when things had moved ahead, another party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal today said that PM Oli was also in favour of revising the MCC agreement signed with the US.

Speaking to journalists at Nawalpur today, Dahal said the PM told visiting US leaders yesterday that MCC was not a Bible-like document that could not be revised or amended. A source close to the PM, however, told THT that although the PM said the MCC document was not a Bible-like not amendable document, his statement was not negative.

The source said the PM did not mean that amendment to the MCC document was imperative now. “There is a realisation among the taskforce members that Nepali negotiators could have paid more attention while negotiating the MCC deal, but that does not mean the MCC must be amended,” the source added.

Prime Minister Oli’s Chief Adviser Bishnu Rimal said there was no role left for the prime minister now as the issue had already been tabled in the House of Representatives for endorsement. Asked if the PM would go for MCC revision as recommended by the NCP taskforce, Rimal said, “I believe it will be adopted.”

In Nawalpur, Dahal said the PM told the US team — which included both Republican and Democratic parties’ representatives — that if there were any concerns, the MCC agreement could be amended.

Dahal said that revision in the MCC agreement was not unthinkable as the agreement had already been amended twice in the past.

The MCC agreement was amended to incorporate a provision whereby the Government of Nepal was made responsible for managing staff and establishing the office for MCC project before its endorsement.

Dahal said the NCP taskforce had stated in its report that a number of provisions in the agreement needed to be amended to clarify some sensitive issues related to the country.

The NCP taskforce led by senior NCP leader Jhalanath Khanal had submitted a 60-page report to co-chairpersons Oli and Dahal saying the MCC could not be adopted in its present form and it should be adopted only after amendment. Khanal had also said some of the provisions in the agreement undermined Nepal’s sovereignty and independence.

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