Police in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse anti-conflict protesters half-billion dollar aid grant from the United States that was presented in parliament for ratification on Sunday.
Hundreds of protesters tried to break through barbed wire barricades and bombarded riot police with rocks. Some protesters were injured in the confrontations with police, according to witnesses and officials in Kathmandu.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an American company government aid agency, agreed in 2017 to provide 500 millions of dollars in grants to fund a 300 kilometer (187 mile) power transmission line and road improvement project in Nepal.
Government officials said the grant will not have to be repaid and comes with no strings attached, but opponents say that the agreement would undermine the laws and sovereignty of Nepal car legislators would not have sufficient control of the board run the infrastructure project.
Despite strong protests, the Minister for Communication and technologies of the’information Gyanendra Bahadur Karki put forward the agreement in parliament and said the projects would benefit 24 millions of The 30 millions from Nepal population.
“The grant will be an important tool for the socio-economic development of the country,” Karki said. in the parliament.
Main political parties, including members of the decision coalition are divided over whether to accept or reject the US grant money.
The United States Embassy in Nepal described the grant of 500 millions dollars from the MCC as “a gift from the american people and a partnership between our nations that will bring jobs and infrastructure to Nepal and improve lives of Nepalese.”
“This project was requested by the Nepalese government and Nepali people and designed seamlessly reduce poverty and grow economy of Nepal,” the embassy said. in a late statement on Saturday.
“That Nepalese leaders ratify the MCC is a decision for Nepal to do, as a sovereign democratic nation, and Nepal decision alone”, he added.
Nepal is highly dependent on foreign aid and donors coordinate development aid policy through the Nepal Development Forum, whose members include donors countries and international financial organizations.