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Wolesi Jirga OKs amended mining law

Wolesi Jirga OKs amended mining law

May 03, 2014 - 17:24

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): After a marathon debate, the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Saturday approved an amended mining law that was referred to the lower house a year ago.

The previous mining law in 12 chapters and 105 articles was approved in 2008, but the amended version, having 20 chapters and 116 articles, was sent to the assembly in 2013.

It was shared for a third time with the environmental protection commission for final approval. On last Wednesday, the draft was placed before the house by the commission.

But lawmakers remained divided on Articles 9, 14 and 84. Article 9 was approved on April 26, while Article 14 was passed today.

Article 9 says ministers of mine, finance, foreign affairs and economy, national security advisor and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) head should be members of the mining evaluation body.

On April 26, the lower house added the names of information and culture, agricultureinfo-icon, irrigation, interior and energy and water ministers to the list.

Environmentinfo-icon Protection Commission head, Obaidullah Ramin, said Article 14 banned radioactive materials and envisaged bidding for their extraction after approval by the cabinet and endorsement by the commission.

But some MPs suggested changes to the article, saying enrichment and other activities be carried out in line with proposals of the commission, endorsement of the cabinet and approval of the assembly. 

Some house commissions suggested two percent of the mining income should be paid to the relevant province in accordance with the mining law. But public representatives wanted the percentage to be increased to five.

Ramin said five percent of the mining income should be paid to relevant province. Later, the law was approved by a majority vote.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance welcomed said: “Approval of the new mining law is a big stride toward Afghanistaninfo-icon’s self-sufficiency.”

A statement from the ministry said the new law would encourage Afghan and foreign investors to invest in the mining sector.




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