Implementation of transparency in extractive industries sector is underway (Hela Cheikhrouhou) | Tunisia News Gazette

Implementation of transparency in extractive industries sector is underway (Hela Cheikhrouhou)

The will to embody Tunisia’s commitment to transparency in the extractive industries sector and to accelerate progress towards this objective was the main message conveyed at the first formal meeting of the Working Group for Improving Transparency and Governance of the Extractive Industries Sector, “held on Thursday in Tunis.

Composed of representatives of government, business (public and private) and members of civil society and co-chaired by the Minister of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy, Hela Cheikhrouhou and Chairman of the Committee on Industry, Energy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Environment, in the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) Amer Larayedh, this group was established on June 22, 2017 and came into operation on July 10, 2017.

Its mission is to direct the publication of reports aimed at providing an independent exercise in reconciling government revenues and payments made by operators in the extractive industries sector. These reports will be prepared by an independent Cabinet and published annually. The first report will cover 2016.

The first meeting of this working group aims, in addition to media coverage of its entry into operation, the discussion of the terms of reference of this group, the criteria to be used in selecting the independent Cabinet responsible for drafting the annual reports and the work programme of the group.

In this connection, Hela Cheikhrouhou stated that “the National Union Government pledged to implement the principles of transparency in the extractive industries sector through efforts to review the legislative and regulatory framework of the sector, restructure ETAP, strengthen the ministry and its capacity to manage and anticipate the needs of the sector, promote exploration and production. The setting up of a multi-stakeholder working group with the objective of ensuring compliance with the principles of transparency complements and strengthens this approach “.

Noting that statistics and data on the extractive industries are now available and regularly published, she stressed that “the contribution of this new initiative is that the data will now be processed by an independent Acts according to international standards. The objective being, according to the minister, to put an end to the crisis of confidence that surrounds this sector.

For his part, Amer Larayedh, considered that “the road to transparency has already begun and that this meeting, which is taking place in the presence of two delegations from Albania and Ukraine, who have come to testify of their experiences in the field of Transparency in the extractive sector, confirms the will to move forward on this path “.

Referring to the recent adoption of the Organic Law on Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Authority and the election of members of the access to information Authority, Larayedh noted that ” Tunisia has nothing to hide and that all the data concerning this sector are constantly published considering that the creation of this working group intervenes to devote the will to increase transparency in the sector but also to improve efficiency and performance of these industries by improving the overall investment climate”.

Dorina Cinari, EITI National Coordinator for Albania, said that the drive towards transparency requires a firm will and a joint effort by all the stakeholders in the sector, stressing that such an approach is likely to foster confidence of peoples towards their leaders and to optimise the management of natural resources.

Source: TAP News Agency

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