Sajha Party calls for scrapping MCC deal if it is to be endorsed by parliament without revisions

Sharada Khatri

KATHMANDU, May 26: Sajha Party has demanded revisions of some of the clauses of the much-talked-about Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement signed with the United States before it is endorsed by the House of Representatives.

In a press statement today, the party opined that some of the provisions of the MCC deal are totally against Nepal’s national interests and self-esteem. “Our attention has been drawn to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s statement that the MCC deal will be endorsed by parliament at any cost,” reads the statement. Sajha Party demanded that the Nepal government scrap the MCC deal if it is going to be endorsed by the parliament as it is.

“If we simply take MCC as an international treaty relating to foreign aid, it will harm our national interests. It is because the MCC will have long-term impact on our national interests if it is endorsed as it is. Therefore, the MCC deal should not be endorsed without revising some of its provisions,” the party said.

Sajha Party has urged all political parties including the main opposition party Nepali Congress to oppose the MCC deal if it is going to be endorsed as it is.

The party has objected to some provisions of the MCC compact. The first is that the Compact will prevail over Nepal’s existing laws in cases of conflicts. The second one is that Nepal has to take the Indian government’s consent while developing transmission lines within the Nepali territory. The third objection of the party is that Nepal’s Auditor General will not be able to audit the accounts of the projects under MCC and only US audit firms are allowed to do so.

“To look into these issues relating to the MCC deal, we demand that the government form a task force comprising independent experts,” the party said in the press statement.

The party also reminded that there are sharp differences even within the ruling Nepal Communist Party regarding whether the country should endorse the MCC without making the necessary amendments. “It is very unfortunate that the government which holds a two-thirds majority in parliament is hell-bent on approving the MCC deal from parliament even without taking into consideration the concerns raised by various sections of society over the MCC deal,” the statement reads.

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