Transparency Watch wants access to mining contracts
Fri Aug 03, 2:43 pm
Transparency Watch believes that the mining contracts that have been made during the past four years should be opened for examination to protect the future interests of the people of Afghanistan. They believe that if past contracts are openly evaluated future contracts will be written in a transparent way that will benefit from lessons learned from the examination process.
Recently the Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI), an administrative council of the mining industry published a report regarding the status of contracts and income from Afghan mines. The report was based on the payments by major mining companies in Afghanistan including AIC, MCC, Beradaran Khoshak, Misaq Sharq, Wens Logistics and Northern Coal Enterprise during the fiscal years of 2008 and 2009.
According to the report over 6 million Afs that was supposed to be paid as mine extraction royalties, or taxes, never reached the government treasury.
Deedar Ali Deedar is member of a research group which has been critical of the lack of transparency in the mining industry. He said, “There is no transparency in the mineral extraction process and we demand that government pay serious attention in mining extraction.”
Najeb Ullah Zeyar is a member of Transparency Watch. He said, “The government must provide an access opportunity for civil society organizations to examine contract documents.” President Karzai recently made a decree that included transparency in the mining sector as one of the requirements for all government officials and for companies doing business in the mining sector.
The Ministry of Mines and Industries emphasized that they would become transparent in their bidding processes and in their awarding of contracts.
Afghanistan is full of mines and the Afghan Government has hopes of achieving economic stability through significant increases in mine extraction income.
So far Afghanistan has been dependent on assistance from foreign countries. Afghan leaders have stated that they will reduce reliance on foreign governments by developing Afghan resources through a transparent development process.