The Multi Stakeholders Group, organised as part of the requirements of Myanmar’s EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) application, will make a final decision in December over the scope of the first EITI report.
Myanmar, as a candidate country, is required to submit the report within 18 months of achieving the status in July.
Any definite plan has not been set so far, but the group will act according to the outcomes of the meetings this month, group member U Win Myo Thu told Myanmar Business Today.
“My wish is to include all resource-related information [in the report]. But the members will decide which industries should be included based on our observations, statistics and the government figures,” he said.
Extractive operations in mining, forestry or fishery industries need to be much more transparent and there is a need for the central government as well as regional governments to cooperate with local and international civil societies and watchdog groups.
The group is planning to set up sub-groups with members from the government in Mandalay and Magway regions and Rakhine and Shan states where resource extraction is the highest, private companies and civil communities, U Tin Thint from of the group told Myanmar Business Today.
“We are still seeing reluctance [to cooperate] on the parts of the local authorities. They have to be honest about whether or not the companies are accountable or if they are even aware of this,” said U Tin Thint, adding that they are adhering to a schedule planned for sector activities and the report.
The oil and gas industry is of low concern as many international firms in Myanmar have operation experience in other EITI member countries but the mining industry is dominated by local businesses and needs to be monitored closely, he said.
There are illegal operations in the mining industry as well as some businesses which use large-scale manpower and heavy machinery despite being registered as small-scale operators.
The Multi Stakeholders Group serves as a platform for cooperation between the government, civil society organisations and private businesses while also promoting transparency and accountability among extractive firms and overseeing the report preparation process.