Thu, 18 July, 2024

Nepal should not accept BRI projects as loans: NC

Staff Reporter Jul 01, 2024

Kathmandu : The main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), has concluded that it cannot accept the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects previously agreed upon by the Chinese government as loans.

A meeting of the party’s current and former office bearers held on Monday discussed the possibility of accepting BRI projects as “cooperation or grants,” but decided against accepting them as loans.

Following the meeting, spokesperson Prakash Sharan Mahat informed that the government’s attention has been drawn to the issue of not accepting BRI projects as loans.

“We have been in debt from the beginning. Even now, projects received in grants and cooperation have not been completed. Taking additional loans at this time will not help advance development. We conclude that we cannot accept loans under these circumstances,” he said, adding, “We want to bring this matter to the government’s attention.”

During his tenure as prime minister, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba informed China that Nepal would accept only grants, facilitation loans, and investment. Nepal became a BRI member in 2017.

Following this Nepal had sent China a list of 35 projects to be constructed under the BRI program.

However, China had urged Nepal to reduce the project number to single digits. Nepal edited the list including only nine projects and waited for the Chinese response.