LILONGWE-(MaraviPost) – The establishment of Malawi Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (MWEITI) is said to be in a right direction towards overturning tax holidays from investors, The Maravi Post has learnt.
This follows the country’s extractive industries stakeholders’ adoption of two critical documents; open data policy and benefit ownership disclosure roadmap.
The policy has been developed to ensure that data relating to natural resources revenue and expenditure is easily accessible, user friendly understood and raises public debate regarding to the management of the extractive industry; mining, oil, forestry, and gases.
The approval of these documents is Malawi’s commitment towards the worldwide standard network, the Extractive International Transparency International (EITI) with expectation to maximize benefits from extractive sector proceeds towards social-economic growth of the people.
Following the country’s commitment and complaint with the EITI standards, the Ministry of Finance was indorsed to champion the initiative in Malawi, leading to the MWEITI.
Established in 2015, MWEITI is a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) composed of government institutions, civil society organizations and private sector.
Since its inception, the MSG has developed a roadmap and made an application to EITI International Secretariat for Malawi’s candidature status which was granted on October 2015.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post, Grain Malunga, the former Minister of Energy and Mines under the late Bingu wa Mutharika regime said MWEITI’s two documents will facilitate maximum collection of revenues from potential investors.
Malunga observed that the country’s extractive industry has the potential economic growth and sustainable development.
He further said MWEITI’s operation was timely considering misinformation the general public have had on Malawi’s extractive industry.
“The country’s extractive industry has potential for maximum revenue collections only that we haven’t well organized for sometime one. But with the establishment of MWEITI, Malawi is going in the right direction towards transparency and accountability on extractive sector proceeds.
“For the past years, the general public has been fed with wrong information on extractive industry particularly mining and oil. This has been also creating speculations and mistrust towards the authority. Therefore, the coming in of MWEITI with its two documents, expectation is high that tax holidays from investors will be a thing of the past as all transactions will be done openly.
“The entire extractive industry reforms aims at giving local people actual benefits that their lives be improved through provision of quality social services; schools, hospitals, water and road networks”, said Malunga, who is also Malawi’s Chamber of Mines Chairperson.
George Harawa, MWEITI’s National Coordinator assured the general public of his office’s independent mandate towards transparency and accountability towards the country’s extractive industry operations.
In 2014, Malawi decided to join the worldwide standard network, the Extractive International Transparency International (EITI) with expectation to maximize benefits from mining, oil, forestry, and gases’ proceeds towards social-economic growth of the people.
EITI is a worldwide standard, principal, accountability and transparency body in the extractive industry which governments enter into and adapt its outlined procedures in a bid to maximize all benefits which comes from the mining for the development of its people.
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