Tunisia take part in the world conference of Extractive industries Transparency EITI
Tunisia, which has not yet taken the decision to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), will participate on February 24-25, 2016, in the 7th world conference of the EITI to be held in Lima, Peru.
The Tunisian delegation will be composed of officials of the Ministry of Energy and Mining, in addition to MPs and representatives of the civil society who militate in favour of Tunisia’s membership in this standard aimed to promote an open and responsible management of the natural resources.
The objective assigned to this participation, is to help develop a final position concerning Tunisia’s membership in EITI which will help further boost transparency in the management of extractive industries, a sector which raises, since the Revolution, several questions. Tunisia, so far, adopted a prudent approach regarding the impacts and commitment of this initiative. The Minister of Energy and Mining Mongi Marzouk asserted that Tunisia remains open to any international initiative in the field of transparency. “We are examining the capacity of our country to apply the commitment related to the membership to EITI,” said the Minister.
The legislative power strives to energise transparency in the energy sector, notably, through the establishment of a legislation, in addition to hearing officials concerning a number of issues related to granting operating permits.
For president of the energy commission stemming the House of the People’s Representatives (HPR) Ameur Larayedh who will represent parliament in the world conference of EITI, the government which does not refuse to join this initiative, is examining all its aspects to take the final decision.
This approach, further specifies Laareydh, is part of the guidance adopted by Tunisia to bolster transparency. In this connection, he reminded that article 13 of the Tunisian Constitution recommends “that the natural resources belong to the Tunisian people. The state exercises sovereignty on behalf of the people. The investment contracts are submitted to the specialised commission of the HPR and the agreements concluded will be submitted to the House for approval.” According to the Institute of the Natural Resources Governance (non governmental organisation), Tunisia already accomplished important steps in the process of membership in this Initiative.
The country published a certain number of data as part of the new open database (Open Data) established by the Ministry of Energy and Mining, but several other data remain inaccessible.
The information available concerns the legal and tax framework, the general indicators on the sector of extractive industries, the contribution of the sector in the economy, production, exports, data on granting permits.
The information not available concerns notably the financial aspects in term of expenses and resources coming from the extractive industries and the financial relations between the public and institutions operating in the sector, the state and the companies active in the sector.
The state does not also unveil its policy and does not publish the contracts signed, the permits granted and the reforms to be adopted to boost the policy of data publication, in addition to some indicators related to incomes coming from mines of phosphate, oil and Gas.
To join EITI, Tunisia must issue a public statement of its intention to join this initiative, and appoint a senior executive to manage the membership process. The government must pledge to work with the civil society and companies and establish a multipartite group to supervise membership in EITI.
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