KATHMANDU, Sept 8: Arguing that the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has been introduced only after completing legal procedure, Nepali Congress (NC) President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has urged not to politicize this issue.
At a meeting of the parliamentary party held at the Parliament Building, New Baneshwor on Tuesday, Prime Minister Deuba informed that he would move ahead after holding discussion on the issue with other parties.
Mentioning that power transmission lines and roads will be upgraded in Nepal through MCC grant, Deuba said that MCC has not been introduced now. "It is a grant received by the government after entering into competition and completing a certain legal process," he said. "It is a matter of relations with a democratic country."
Deuba claimed that the MCC has reached the present stage after several governments under the leadership of various political parties in the past advanced this. He said that the MCC would help to bring about economic development in the country.
Deuba also clarified that MCC was a grant. "It's a development grant. There was a lot of politics involved in it,” said a NC lawmaker, who was present at the meeting, quoting Deuba. “There is no need to politicize this matter. We will bring grants for the development of the country and reduce the country's debt.”
Deuba informed that MCC was started during the Baburam Bhattarai-led government. Stating that it was further advanced for the approval by the parliament in the KP Oli-led government when Yubaraj Khatiwada was the Finance Minister, Deuba said that people were finding fault now.
While stating that the former ruling party, UML, including the then Prime Minister KP Oli, was in favor of passing the MCC from the parliament, Deuba said that Oli is now backing away from it. “If such things happen, where will the credibility of the country go?” he asked.
Deuba instructed the party’s lawmakers to speak in favor of the MCC. “We have not done anything wrong. No crime has been committed. Let the people who know speak,” he further said
Deuba also said that the government had recently written to the US government asking to clarify some of the questions raised about the MCC. He expressed confidence that the United States would clarify the questions by a section of people about the MCC agreement.
During the meeting, the lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction over the recent activities of the government including the MCC. A statement issued by the Home Ministry to stifle the freedom of expression was criticized in the meeting.