LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)- The country’s much awaited Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) report was launched this week with participants calls for Government to amend the 1981 Minerals and Mining Act.
The report, which is the first of its kind, was to enable Malawi attain world compliant status in the extractive industry.
The study covers payments by extractive companies, revenues received by Government entities, and other material payments between July 2014 and June 30, 2015.
The total revenue received from the extractive industries amounted to MK5.9 billion, of which only 60% was generated and accounted for by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
The study found that MK810 million generated in the mining sector, was missing and Government could not account for it.
The report states that MK499,100,509 from the Department of Mines revenue and MK1 754,1461,900 from MRA respectively, has not been reconciled from MK6 billion that Government declared.
This has prompted the newly appointed Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Massi, to institute investigation over the missing funds.
The Minister informed the Maravi Post, after the launch that it was the responsibility of Government to ensure that every penny generated from the extractive industry, is accounted for.
Massi assured the public that Government will table in Parliament its 1981 Mines and Minerals Act in the November seating of Parliament to enable the law makers make the necessary amendments.
“I am hearing about the figure for the first time. We will ensure there is accountability and transparency. Government will table the Minerals Act for amendment, to tally with emerging issues in the mining sector,” assured Massi.
Germany’s Deputy Ambassador Thomas Staiger, called for stiffer laws to address short-falls in extractive governance, so that actual earnings should directly benefit ordinary Malawians.
Chamber of Mines President, Dean Lungu said amendment of the law will promote transparency and accountability in the way companies operate in the mining sector, and build win-win partnerships between mining investors and communities around their investments.
The proposed Mines and Minerals amendment clauses have been designed to regulate the development of mineral resources of Malawi through adherence to sustainable development principles.
Following the country’s commitment and complaint with the EITI standards, the Ministry of Finance was indorsed to champion on the initiative in Malawi, leading to the establishment of the MWEITI.
Since its inception, the MSG has developed a roadmap and made an application to EITI International Secretariat for Malawi’s candidature status, which was granted on October 2015.