KATHMANDU, April 1: The meetings both Houses of the federal parliament are being adjourned through notices time and again since the last two weeks citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bungling on MCC

March 10, 2020 11:00 am

Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders look headed toward scuttling the 500 million dollar American grant largely on the basis of misinformation and rhetoric. NCP has remained a divided house on Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant assistance of the US government. While a section of leaders, mostly representing former UML, has stood in favour of endorsing MCC agreement from the parliament, those aligned with former Maoist faction seem resolutely opposed to the idea. It was hoped that the task force formed by NCP to study the matter and make the recommendations to the government would come up with the needed solution. It did not. As a matter fact, the task force, which submitted its recommendations to the government on February 21, seems to have made the matters worse, when it suggested that the government should not endorse MCC without revising the contract.  The government has been hesitant to even start deliberations on MCC after the task force submitted its report.

PARBAT, March 1: Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa on Sunday said that Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) project will not be ratified through the parliament without making necessary amendments on it.

SUKUTE,  Mar 1: Executive Chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has revealed that their attempt to amend the constitution was made at the behest of the party’s senior leader Bam Dev Gautam.

CHAUTARA, Feb 29: Chairman of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has clarified that the MCC could be passed only after amending some provision.

A bipartisan US Congressional delegation led by Representative Ami Bera, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s (HFAC) Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, was in Nepal earlier this week. The four-member delegation that included Representative George Holding, Member of the House Ways & Means Committee; Staff Director at the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation Nikole Burroughs and Senior Professional Staff Member at HFAC Sajit Gandhi held meetings with government officials, civil society leaders, staff at the US Embassy, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation among others. On the sideline of their visit to Nepal, Nagarik Daily’s Guna Raj Luitel and Republica’s Kosh Raj Koirala talked to Ami Bera to learn more about US foreign policy on Nepal, latest controversies about the MCC and other issues pertaining to the Nepal-US relations. Excerpts:

What’s our priority?

February 27, 2020 10:24 am

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is once again embroiled in intra-party feud. Differences among top leaders, including KP Sharma Oli, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, have surfaced, and it is likely to impact our political stability. Nepalis voted for stability and development. But the party’s infighting exposed personal ambitions above everything else. Recent political developments are deeply troubling for the country. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has not shied away from venting his frustration over the government’s inability to pass MCC, and resolve some outstanding issues within the party.

SURKHET, Feb 24: Chairperson of Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Kamal Thapa, today said ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has unnecessarily picked disputes regarding the US Millennium Challenge Corporation, thus creating unnecessary doubts about the project.

KATHMANDU, Feb 23: Implementation of the US$ 500 million grant announced by the USA for Nepal’s development under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement hangs in the balance after the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders remain divided over whether to endorse the agreement from the parliament as promised earlier.

CHITWAN, Feb 22: Chairman of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to be funded by the US government would be endorsed after making necessary amendments.

KATHMANDU, Feb 22: Two weeks after the visit of Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America (EAPLA) for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Jonathan Brooks, US Representative Ami Bera, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s (HFAC) Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, has arrived in Nepal, leading a bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Nepal.

KATHMANDU, Feb 22: A task force formed by the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has recommended to the government not to endorse the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement signed between the US and Nepal in its existing form.

KATHMANDU, Feb 21: Taskforce formed to study on a grant scheme by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is likely to submit its report to the chairperson duo KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal later today.

KATHMANDU, Feb 19: Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali has reiterated the government's stance on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact.

SURKHET, Feb 19: Nepal Communist Party chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has claimed that this party has changed the political landscape of Nepal. He said this in his inaugural address to the Karnali province-level frontline cadres' gathering organized by NCP at Karnali province capital Surkhet on Tuesday

RUPANDEHI, Feb 18: Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) chair Kamal Thapa has said the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) related to the US assistance is in the interest of Nepal.

Boosting tourism

February 12, 2020 12:06 pm

Visit Nepal 2020 mega campaign kicked off with fanfare in December last year. It ended as a one-time ritual, just as unattended plantation of vegetation at Tinkune and blacktopping a few kilometers of already passable roads in rapidity, spending millions of rupees like water to impress Chinese President Xi Jinping during his October visit to Kathmandu last year.

KATHMANDU, Feb 11: Nine small parties have submitted a memorandum to speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Sapkota demanding not to ratify the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Nepal Compact.

GULMI, Feb 4: Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said whatever things have come out regarding the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have come in an exaggerated and sponsored way.

KATHMANDU, Feb 2: Sudan Kirati, a parliament member of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, on Sunday demanded the resignation of government spokesperson Gokul Baskota.

KATHMANDU, Jan 31: Arguing that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant has no link with America’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, Prime Minister KP Oli has pointed out the need to endorse the MCC agreement through parliament at the earliest possible.

KATHMANDU, Jan 29: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Wednesday said the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Program and United States Indo-Pacific Strategy were two different things, and that there was no need to link them together.

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: President of the main opposition party Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba has urged the newly appointed speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Agni Prasad Sapkota to win the confidence of the opposition parties in coming days.

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Secretariat member and Spokesperson, Narayankaji Shrestha, has said a decision in regard with the 'Millennium Challenge Corporation' would be taken keeping the interest of the nation at first.

KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that projects under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will be expedited in the best interests of the country after negotiating with the US on its terms and conditions if deemed necessary.

KATHMANDU, Jan 22, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwar Pokharel has admitted that the government has not been able to carry out its activities in a well-organized manner.

KATHMANDU, Jan 21: Leaders of different political parties engaged in a heated debate on the US proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on Tuesday.

KASKI, Jan 20: Nepali Congress joint general secretary and former minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has said a foreign aid and assistance capable of addressing the nation's needs and interest should be accepted.

KATHMANDU, Jan 20: Parliamentarians of the ruling Nepal Communist Party in the National Assembly held a meeting with Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali to enquire about the much-talked-about US-proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation 500 million grant.

Clarifications on MCC Nepal Compact

January 20, 2020 09:09 am

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Nepal Compact which can be downloaded from https://mcanp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Millennium_Challenge_Compact.pdf is being discussed at large these days and I personally appreciate all the concerns that have surfaced, both in social media and mainstream media. We live in a democracy wherein people and people’s representatives should discuss and debate matters of national interest, but I believe our debates should be based on facts and evidence. With this article, I hope to provide some facts and clarify specific concerns to help the public understand the Compact better.

KATHMANDU, Jan 19: Members of National Assembly (NA) on Sunday were involved in a heated debate on Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and other issues of public concern.

DANG, Jan 19: Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has dubbed the much-talked Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the US- proposed development initiative, 'good' for Nepal.

KATHMANDU, Jan 18: Amid misleading news going viral in several online media platforms that its implementation would pave the way for deploying US military personnel in Nepal, the US Embassy in Kathmandu on Friday clarified that Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) does not have any military component.

ROLPA, Jan 17: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun said that election for the vacant post of the speaker will take place only after the election of the National Assembly.

BIRATNAGAR, Jan 15: President of the main opposition Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that Speaker of the House of Representatives should be elected at the earliest.

In defense of social media regulation

January 11, 2020 08:30 am

Our socio-political situation always and noticeably remits one or another controversial issue to the people, who love to engage in an endless debate. MCC was the talk of the town, and still is. The proposed bill on information technology—mentioned as IT Bill—has hogged the media space and engaged the mass at mammoth scale. The provision that states anyone posting defamatory, blasphemous and disrespectfully vulgar or profane remarks against somebody on and through social media will be sentenced up to five year and fined up to one and half million rupees is the subject of intense criticism.

POKHARA, Jan 9: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwar Pokharel has clarified that Nepal won't participate in any kind of military alliance.

Debunking the nonsense on MCC

January 7, 2020 08:45 am

Having served on the Board of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in Nepal as a civil society representative in its formative days, the author of this piece had an opportunity to look at the Project in greater detail much before it came into wider public discourse. For the last couple of months or so, it’s been nerve-wracking to hear all kind of nonsense being blurted out about MCC by media-hungry individuals who seem neither to have any knowledge of the world of development-aid nor appreciation of the modus operandi of the global geo-political ambitions.

KATHMANDU, Dec 27: The US-Nepal Policy Research Center (US-NPRC) has demanded for immediate ratification of the multi-million US dollar Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC) compact, saying that a failure could tarnish Nepal's international image.

KATHMANDU, Dec 23: Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-Nepal) has clarified that a condition of ratification of the agreement for the grant of US$ 500 million from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, known as MCC Compact, by the Nepali parliament was a 'standard norm' used by the MCC to ensure that projects implemented under their support do not face any problems later due to other laws.

KATHMANDU, Dec 23: Failing to forge consensus in the party's standing committee on whether to endorse the $500 million US grant, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has entrusted its secretariat to seek clarity from the US about the terms and conditions of the grant and decide the issue accordingly.

KATHMANDU, Dec 22: The Millennium Challenge Account-Nepal (MCA- Nepal) has clarified that the US government has been providing a compact grant for infrastructure developments in Nepal through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and has appealed for timely ratification of the MCC Compact.

Nov 9: 6 things to know by 6 PM today

November 9, 2019 18:00 pm

Your daily dose of missed important news of the day.

MCC thrashes Nepal by 113 runs

November 9, 2019 17:05 pm

KATHMANDU, Nov 9: Visiting Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has thrashed Nepali cricket team by a huge run margin of 113 runs in a T20 cricket match played at Tribhuwan University cricket ground on Saturday.

KATHMANDU, Nov 5: All-round performance from Pawan Sarraf and a bowling brilliance from Lalit Nath Rajbanshi helped Nepal national cricket team register a five-wicket win over the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in the second match of the MCC tour of Nepal in Kirtipur on Monday.

KATHMANDU, Oct 31: Nepali squad for three formats for the series against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has been announced on Thursday.

KATHMANDU, Oct 1: The government has signed a program implementation agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) representing the US Government, taking the implementation of the US$ 500 million MCC Compact a step forward. The signing of the agreement comes in the wake of criticisms from some leaders of the ruling party over a plan to ratify the Compact agreement in the parliament.

KATHMANDU, Sept 27: As a sharp division among the leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) puts the implementation of projects under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in limbo, US ambassador to Nepal, Randy Berry, has intensified meetings with key political leaders in the country to understand Nepal's position on the MCC projects.

Some lawmakers want terms and conditions of MCC agreement re-negotiated before endorsing it through parliament

When generosity kills

September 10, 2019 01:30 am

Nepal’s young democracy requires Nepalis to demand more from themselves and their government instead of falling victim to the allure of progress that foreign aid promises