By Nation Reporter
GOVERNMENT says Zambia being a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) it is required to produce the reconciliation reports annually in the mining industry for the benefit of the citizens.
Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development permanent secretary Paul Chanda said the purpose of producing annual reports was to promote transparency and accountability in the mining sector by keeping the public informed of all tax payments made by extractive companies.
Mr Chanda said Zambia had published seven reconciliation reports since 2009 when the country joined the EITI as a candidate country.
He said the EITI reports currently included information on the extractive industry in Zambia, the applicable legal regulatory framework in addition to the information on how much money had been paid by the companies and the amount in full received by the Government.
Mr Chanda said the 2016 EITI standards required all implementing countries to develop a plan for the beneficial ownership disclosure in the mining sector by January 2017.
He said the advantage of the beneficial ownership disclosure would help improve the mining sector governance by disclosing the actual owners of the mining houses.
He said dialogue using reconciliation reports had taken place in some mining houses, however there was need to scale up the talks if the objectives of EITI’s were to be realized.
Mr Chanda also took the opportunity in Chingola at Protea Hotel yesterday to launch the production of the 2015 and 8th EITI report which was based on the 2015 financial year.
He commended all the cooperating partners who had continued to support the implementation of the EITI in Zambia particularly the World Bank for funding the production of the 2015 Zambia EITI report.
Mr Chanda said the production of the 2015 reconciliation report would not have been possible without the contribution from various stakeholders home and abroad
The permanent secretary was speaking in Chingola at the capacity building workshop for mining companies and Government agencies.
And a representative from the Zambia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ZEITI) Siforiano Banda said it was important for the public to know how much money the mining houses in different parts of the country were paying to the Government in revenue for transparency and accountability to be achieved..
Mr Banda said the public had the right to know about the money the mining firms paid to the Government annually because the minerals were the natural resources for the Zambian people and not for anyone else.