English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Will Nepal PM Deuba be able to garner support for $500 mn US assistance?

Protest in Nepal over US aid

As massive protests broke in Nepal over the $500 million financial assistance from the US, the police had to resort to firing rubber bullets and tear gas on Sunday. The ruling coalition under the Nepali Congress is divided over the ratification of the grant. Several lawmakers of the coalition parties, especially those with affiliation to the communists and therefore are perceived to be closer to China, have claimed the move would threaten the country’s sovereignty.

“They say it is part of Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which has military components that could bring American soldiers to Nepal,” Al Jazeera said in a report.

The US based  foreign assistance body, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), signed an agreement with Nepal in 2017 to finance its infrastructure. According to reports Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has already initiated meetings with leaders of several other political parties to gain their support for the MCC pact.

Also read: Nepal's food imports rising at alarming rate as labour shortage hits farm output

The grants is expected to help in developing an electricity grid of 400kVA transmission lines in Nepal.

According to an Observer Research Foundation study, the development of the grid will not only boost distribution of power in the domestic market but also help in exporting it to India. Additionally, the implementation of the MCC could boost the Nepalese economy in terms of raising employment opportunities as well as raising the per capita income, the study said. “But in case the agreement is not ratified by the Parliament, chances are high that the power producers in the country would lose a whopping amount of Rs. 142 billion annually,” the ORF added.