Albnet-EITI, workshop in Skrapar: The royalty to be determined based on the amount of product extracted not from the sales

The AlbNet-EITI civil society network held another workshop in the town of Corovoda, Skrapar on 28 February. The purpose of the meeting was to increase the capacity of civil society and local administration to implement the of EITI standards. The workshop was attended by community representatives, local government officials in the municipality of Skrapar and heads of administrative units in the municipality.

The AlbNet-EITI Director who represents also the Albanian Center for Development and Integration, Anila Hajnaj, stressed the importance of the knowledge on the EITI initiative and its implementation in the extractive industry areas while noted the important results of this project funded by the Swiss embassy in Tirana. In her presentation she raised some problems related to the implementation of the laws and standards required by the EITI initiative where Albania has been a member since 2013. Hajnaj said that the initiative ensures better management of natural resources. She also shared the same opinion as participants for concessionary fee of hydroenegry to be implemented the same scheme as for the mineral royalty.

The EITI expert, the Head of the Center for Transparency and Free Information, Sami Neza, said that civil society has an important role to play in implementing EITI. He presented the requirement for disclosure of the beneficiary ownership which will be reflected in the draft of the EITI new law.

The participants raised a number of problems during their discussions. They demanded the royalty to be calculated on the basis of quantities of extraction rather than on sales as it is now. It was also requested to have better control on product quality since companies are manipulating in order to decrease the tax obligations.

For the community there the problem of environmental pollution and damage is not resolved yet since the payment of the environmental fee by companies is not adequate to rehabilitate the great damage the companies create.