KATHMANDU, Oct 7: Nepal’s private sector has come up with a common agenda in support of the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Nepal Compact, pressurizing the government to endorse the agreement soon.
In a joint press statement issued by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) on Wednesday, the umbrella organizations have urged the authorities concerned, parliamentarians and the civil society to allow implementation of the MCC Nepal Compact without any hurdles. “The projects under the MCC seem to provide economic benefits to the country,” reads the press release.
On September 14, 2017, Nepal and the US-funded MCC inked an agreement to take forward construction of electricity transmission lines and road maintenance works. However, the development works could not be materialized even in four years of signing the agreement after Nepal failed to endorse the MCC Nepal Compact from parliament.
The government and stakeholders concerned have been asking the MCC to amend the provisions in the pact including the one related to the military alliance or defense strategy. However, the MCC has clarified that its Nepal Compact is not part of any Indo-Pacific military strategy as claimed by a section of people in Nepal.
The Nepali private sector has come up with the view that US $ 500 million under the pact will be beneficial for the country at a time when foreign direct investment has slowed after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to them, heavy loss of electricity that has resulted from the lack of transmission lines an;d the pathetic road infrastructure have been helping increase the production costs and have adversely affected the competitiveness of Nepali industries.