The most tangible collateral damage of Nepal’s chronic political instability is going to be the effort to streamline Nepal’s electricity grid. Politicians have weaponised the US-supported Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) infrastructure grant, and the much-needed project is stuck.
An agreement for the $500 million project was signed by the Nepali Congress (NC) Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki in Washington DC four years ago. But since then, it had become a political football in the great game between prime Minister K P Oli and his nemeses Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal.
The first hint that the MCC controversy was carrying over to the new government was that it was not included in the ‘common minimum program’ agreed to between the five coalition partners on 9 August.
The Maoists and the Nepal faction have used the MCC so effectively to bludgeon Oli’s government that the rank-and-file are dead against the project….