The issue of parliamentary ratification of the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement signed with the United States of America has caused divisions among the ruling coalition partners, with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba pressing for Parliamentary ratification of the deal at the earliest.
According to senior leader of CPN-Maoist Centre Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who is a member of the three-member task force constituted by the ruling alliance to study the MCC agreement, the PM said on Sunday that he wanted to secure parliamentary ratification of the MCC as soon as possible.
Shrestha, however, made it clear to the PM that the issue could be discussed only after the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Jhalanath Khanal, who leads the ruling coalition taskforce formed to study the MCC deal, said consensus is yet to be forged among the ruling coalition partners on the agreement. Although PMM Deuba was in favour of ratifying the MCC deal, he is not using any force to endorse it. The ruling alliance will not split over the issue of ratification of the deal, he made it clear.
An aid of Prime Minister Deuba said there was no deadline for the government to secure parliamentary ratification of the MCC deal. The PM’s also aide ruled out the possibility of the coalition splitting on the issue.
In the mean time, a meeting of the House of Representatives scheduled for Monday was put off till February in the wake of the rapid surge in COVID-19 infections across Nepal.
The National Assembly meeting scheduled for Tuesday was also postponed till further notice.
Assistant Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Dasharath Dhamala confirmed that the HoR meeting was postponed mainly due to the rapid surge in COVID cases.