ArmInfo. Armenia is aimed at transparency and accountability in the mining sector of the country, David Harutyunyan, the Staff Coordinator Minister and multi beneficiary group leader stated on November 25 in Yerevan on the margins of the first official meeting of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative workgroup.
As Minster clarified, the matter is not fetching out the irregularities in the mining industry, but the implementation in Armenia of a quite new culture, which is absolutely independent of political power. " regardless the changes in political course of the country, the new culture will be aimed at the establishment of the single three-side platform for the cooperation of civil society, power authorities and business community," Harutyunyan stated.
David Harutyunyan did not rule out, that in the process of common work other tasks waitning for their solutions could be discovered. However, according to Minister, all the parties will be equal partners in decision making process. Following Harutyunyan, since June 28 of 2015, when former Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan stated the expedience of Armenia joining EITI, many discussions have been held with stakeholders, which later became multi beneficiary group members. "There is no need to hurry. The main thing is to reach real results, because we do not want to deal with imitation," Government representative said.
As Harutyunyan informed, following the Resolution of the Prime Minister, a multi beneficiary group has been set, and the objective of this group will be to manage and to control the standards implementation process. It is planned that Armenia will become a candidate country to join the Initiative in 2017. At this stage a two year project on cooperation with EITI will be developed and submitted by the end of the year. These standards are not related to technical procedures, but are aimed at securing transparency and accountability in the field. "Everything related to purchase, activities, revenues and socials security issues is a subject to be regulated by Initiatives standards", Harutyunyan clarified. At the same time the group leader is not concerned about the fact that after the installation of standards te operation of some mining sites in Armenia may be suspended. In opposite, Minister thinks that after joining the EITI the sector will develop actively.
As Tigran Djrbashyan, the AmCham Directors Board Chairman, stated earlier in his interview to ArmInfo, the support of this initiative by the Government of Armenia is able to initiate revolutionary changes in the mining sector and investment climate improvement.
EITI is the coalition of Government, companies, civil society, investors and international organizations. EITI was founded in 2002 due to the initiative of British Prime Minister. Within the framework of the Initiative, mining companies should share the information on their tax and non-tax payments. Such civil control not only prevents misappropriations in this field, but also improves the business environment.