KATHMANDU: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Alice Albright made a courtesy call on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ this morning.
According to the PM’s secretariat, discussions were held on various aspects of the Nepal-US cooperation including the MCC projects.
Albright, who arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday evening, held talks with Prime Minister Dahal today.
Her visit to Nepal marks a significant milestone in the bilateral partnership between Nepal and the United States, as it coincides with the implementation of the MCC-Nepal Compact, which commenced on August 30, six years after the initial agreement between the United States and the Government of Nepal, the US Embassy in Kathmandu said.
During her visit, CEO Alice has been engaging in courtesy meetings with senior leaders of the Nepal government, highlighting MCC’s steadfast commitment as a reliable partner in addressing the challenges associated with implementation and ensuring that the benefits of the compact reach the Nepali people.
These discussions will focus on addressing issues that have caused delays in the implementation of MCC-supported projects and finding solutions to the challenges ahead.
The MCC-Nepal Compact officially entered its five-year implementation phase following approval by the Parliament of Nepal two years after its initial signing.
However, complications related to the contract process and land acquisition have led to uncertainties in the implementation process.
One of the major obstacles currently faced is the construction of a transmission line, where the selected bidder has indicated that the project cost may exceed the initial estimates, leading to implementation difficulties.
Additionally, the selection of a contractor for the 315 km transmission line project, funded by MCC, has encountered issues due to high bids submitted by potential contractors.
CEO Alice’s visit aims to address these challenges and streamline the implementation of MCC-supported projects.
It is expected that discussions will revolve around resolving issues related to transmission lines and road upgrades, which have seen high bids from contractors, making the selection process complex.
This visit follows the earlier announcement of MCC Nepal Compact’s implementation, during which MCC Vice President Cameron S. Alford visited Kathmandu.
On Monday, the MCC CEO met with Chairman of CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli, and Minister for Energy Shakti Bahadur Basnet and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Prakash Jwala.
During the meetings, the leaders discussed the ways for the successful implementation of the MCC projects. Currently, MCC CEO Alice is in Nepal to celebrate MCC’s entry into force.