Delayed regional rollout of EITI expected in May: activist

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process is to be expanded to the state and region level by May, starting with Mandalay Region, it was announced yesterday.

The EITI is a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of natural resources. It seeks to strengthen government and company systems, inform public debate, and enhance trust. In each implementing country it is supported by a coalition of governments, companies and civil society working together.

The decentralisation plan is already behind schedule, since implementation was initially planned for last October.

The decision to set up a pilot project in two states and two regions was made following the sixth meeting of the Multi-Stakeholder Group in Nay Pyi Taw on October 3 last year. The MSG is a national-level body formed to oversee the EITI process that comprises six government officials, six private-sector representatives and nine representatives from civil society.

The pilot project will see MSG bodies formed in four states and regions – Magwe, Mandalay, Rakhine and Shan – ahead of a possible national roll-out. These pilot bodies will be set up by May.

The regional MSG in Mandalay will comprise five government officials, five private-sector representatives and five representatives from civil society, said national MSG member Ma Moe Moe Tun, the leader of environmental group Sein Lan Pyin Oo Lwin.

Myanmar signed up to the EITI on July 2 last year. It was granted candidate country status and has until January 2016 to produce its first EITI report.

The process requires input from the private sector and civil society, and also requires the government to give legal protection to those participating in EITI and promote awareness about the initiative.

Source: Xinhua

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