Civil societies have announced that Myanmar will apply for ‘Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’ (EITI) membership in December.
Salai Ceung Lian Thaung, Senior Advisor of the ‘Nursery’ group said, “The government will invite international academics and civil societies that are consistently monitoring extractive industries to form an executive committee. They will work for transparency in these projects, evaluate whether the project can develop local areas and the people, and compute how much revenue the government will receive and how much profit the companies will gain from the projects.”
To apply for EITI membership Dr. Maung Maung Thein, the EITI Working Committee Chairman of Myanmar and Deputy Minister of Finance, will meet international academics and civil societies involved in monitoring extractive industries on October 1 and 2, at the Strand in Yangon.
“After we acquire membership of the EITI, the monitoring groups will monitor and supervise accounts and budgets of the government and investment companies”, Salai Ceung Lian Thaung elaborated.
The executive committee of the EITI will be formed after training representatives sent by the civil societies that are monitoring extractive industries. Subsequently, the committee will apply for membership at the EITI head office in Norway.
They are required to submit a country report after 18 months. The EITI will decide on the membership application submitted by Myanmar on the basis of the report.
“Our country is unaware of EITI related facts. So we will have a thorough discussion on our requirements and weaknesses in the forthcoming meeting”, Salai Ceung Lian Thaung said.
After becoming an EITI member, the civil societies will have the authority to conduct surveys and studies on government projects and its impact on local people. They may also hold debates on whether these government projects should be continued or not and voice demands made by the local people.
They may have the authority to object government projects too.
The EITI Working Committee was formed by a presidential order on December 14, 2012 with Presidential Office Minister Soe Thein as Chairman and Finance Minister Win Shein as Secretary. The committee members are Environment Protection and Forest Minister Win Tun, Energy Minister Than Htay and Mining Minister Dr. Myint Aung.