Release of Afghan mining report by AEITI a welcome step yet more transparency is critical

Source: Integrity Watch Afghanistan
Date: 1 Aug 2021

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Wednesday, August 1, 2021 – Kabul: Civil society coalition around Afghanistan’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) welcomes the release of its report earlier today. The coalition considers this as an important step by the Government of Afghanistan to implement the EITI process in the country. However, the release of the report is only the beginning and a lot has to be done by the government to make effective use of the report.

The coalition emphasized the need for government action on the recommendations of the report. “Besides maintaining quality of the process, unambiguous political commitment is needed to implement recommendations of the report” said Yama Torabi, Executive Director of Integrity Watch Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is currently EITI candidate country, as part of EITI requirement, candidate countries must produce two sets of reports, examining the types of revenue received by the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. “While release of the first report is a landmark achievement in the extractive sector, the government has to do more to improve quality and effectiveness of the process to earn EITI recognition. Government commitment to full disclosure of mining contracts is one necessary step to improving quality of the reports.” said Hasib Kabiri from Humanitarian Organization for Local Development (HOLD).

Extractive companies should be required to adopt international financial management systems and standards. “The current reports need to be subjected to third party independent audit until the companies and the government adapts transparent accounting systems” said Sorosh Poya from Khorasan Charity Organization.

The report needs to improve in terms of providing comprehensive data to the public including production volume of the contracts, distribution of revenue, cooperate, and social responsibility.

“Despite the fact that Afghanistan has committed itself to providing disaggregated data, the data is currently disaggregated at company level. Financial data disaggregated by commodity and project will help in analyzing and determining the profitability of each and every contract” said Didar Ali Didar from Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium.

In order to ensure revenue transparency, the EITI process requires candidate countries as well as compliant country to publish its tax receipts from extractive companies. Similarly, the extractive companies must publish receipts of their payment to the government in the form of a join report.

About Civil Society Coalition

Participation of civil society in the implementation of EITI is imperative. CSOs in Afghanistan have greatly contributed to the EITI process since the country’s candidacy in 2009 and are members of the Multi-stakeholders Group (MSG). A coalition of CSOs was created to oversee the implementation of EITI in 2010 and has expanded from six organizations to 13 right now and still expanding.

About EITI

EITI is a global standard for transparency in oil, gas and mining through regular publication of companies’ payments to government and government’s receipts of the payments in the form of report.

For more information please contact Sayed Ikram Afzali, Head of Advocacy and Communication, Integrity Watch Afghanistan at ikram.afzali@iwaweb.org or +93(0)700266645.