Kathmandu, Sept 30. After weeks of the contract process period of the project under the American aid agency MCC, MCA Nepal has not yet been able to contract the transmission line and substation.
It has been 306 days since MCA Nepal called for transmission line contracts and 190 days since it called for substation contracts. Whereas, when the transmission line contract invitation was being prepared, the executive director of MCA Nepal, Khadga Bahadur Bista, claimed that the contract process would be up to a maximum of 180 days.
He had said at that time, “The contract process of MCC is called according to the Fedic Allo Book.” The international contract tender will be from 42 to 180 days.
MCA Nepal, which has paved the way for irregularities of more than 20 billion rupees by taking only the proposal of an Indian company in the transmission line contract, is yet to award the contract.
Economic News had published news about MCA Nepal opening a financial proposal to corrupt billions of rupees in the transmission line contract. Finance Minister Dr. Prakasharan Mahat has given instructions to cancel the contract of the MCC transmission line project itself.
MCA Nepal invited bids on November 28, 2022, for the 315 km long transmission line contract of 400 KV capacity divided into three parts. Contract proposals were sought to work on three lots namely Lapsiphedi-Ratmate-New Hetaunda (117 km), Ratmate-New Damauli (90 km), and New Damauli-New Butwal-Indian border (108 km).
MCA Nepal estimated the total cost of these three sets of transmission lines at 226 million. However, five companies in India have made a minimum financial offer of more than 365.9 million rupees to make it easy to understand the collision.
This is 66 percent more than the total cost estimate. Indian companies have offered more than Rs 55 million in the first lot, Rs 45 million in the second lot and Rs 497 million in the third lot.
As claimed by MCA Nepal, the contract period of 180 days ended on May 27, 2023 in the case of transmission lines. The substation contract which was called on March 24, 2023 has also expired 10 days before this news was prepared. MCA Nepal had opened the way for billions of corruption by repeatedly revising both these contract notices and adding appendices.
MCA Nepal’s executive group, which has been lobbying hard on the American side, has appeared very defensive after the news about the irregularities in the transmission line and substation contract was published. They, who are strong advocates of transparency and accountability, have not been able to provide any information about why the contract could not be awarded within the specified time.
Officials of MCA Nepal, who are extending the contract period despite the end of the contract period, have started making new arguments in informal conversations. They have started making a strange argument that the contract process period is counted only from the day the contractor submits the bid and not from the day the tender is invited. However, they don’t want to talk about it formally.
MCC is sending the CEO
Since this controversial project, which has been made a matter of geopolitical prestige by America, seems to fail due to the contract, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCC, Elise Albright, is going to come to Nepal next week (October 1).
It was announced that the MCC Nepal Compact Program was implemented on 13th August last (Entry into Force – EIF). On that day, MCC Compact Vice President Cameron Alford and Nepal’s Finance Minister Prakasharan Mahat exchanged EIF letters.
MCC is about to send the CEO to Nepal after the transmission line contract turned into corruption within a month and a half of the implementation. Officials of MCA Nepal have claimed that there is a custom to visit after implementation. However, American embassy sources have informed that he is coming to Nepal to understand the manipulation of transmission lines and transmission contracts.
By putting pressure on the Nepalese government and makes them increase their liability, but the American stake is that the electricity infrastructure and roads have been built in Nepal with the investment of MCC. She is about to come to Nepal after it was not completed and the representatives here pressured the finance minister to implement the American plan. Officials say that he is certain to pressure Nepal to increase the liability amount from high-level political meetings in Nepal.
In the initial agreement, US$500 million and Nepal’s US$130 million were to be contributed to the MCC project. However, Nepal has added 67 million US dollars by making a supplementary agreement under American pressure. Currently, the cost of the MCC project has reached 795 million US dollars (about 92 billion rupees). Even though the Nepal government has taken additional responsibility in MCA Nepal, America has not added responsibility towards itself. Both the parties have not been able to give the confirmation as to why this amount was added.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a US bilateral aid agency. This agency v. no. In 2068, Nepal was selected in the threshold program of MCC. Going through various stages in the MCC compact agreement, Nepal V. no. It was signed on August 29, 2074. After the United States pressured Nepal to proceed with this agreement as a treaty, the major parties approved it from the Parliament on 15th February 2078.
During the implementation of the MCC agreement, it is mentioned that energy and road infrastructure will be developed in Nepal. Millennium Challenge to advance these projects