The 4th Inter-Municipal Meeting in Bulqiza: Mining Industry and Royalty Issues

The 4th Inter-Municipal Meeting in Bulqiza: Mining Industry and Royalty Issues

On October 30, 2019, Albania EITI and OSCE Presence in Albania organized in Bulqiza Municipality the fourth inter-municipal Workshop on Mining Industry and Royalty Issues.

The Secretariat and MSG representatives, OSCE Presence representatives, Heads and staff of Peshkopia, Bulqiza, Mat and Klos Municipalities; Representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economy; Directorate General of Taxation; NANR; Ministry of Health and Social Welfare / State Agency for Children’s Rights and Protection; Civil Society; FIAA; Dibra Regional Environmental Agency, experts contracted by OSCE, representatives of environmental associations in Dibra Region, etc. attended the fourth inter-municipal Workshop. 

In Municipalities of Peshkopia, Bulqiza, Mat and Klos there are 156 chromium mining permits operating companies as well as 7 companies in the extraction of limestone, marble limestone, alabaster etc.

The representative of the EITI National Secretariat Mr. Ardit Kamberi, emphasized the strategic importance of the chromium mining sector; potentials and advantages of enhancing the cooperation between the local government units and the EITI National Secretariat on royalty management transparency reporting process; Inter-institutional and local coordination regarding the process of royalty beneficiary at the local level; Maximizing the social and environmental impact of royalty on local communities; Strengthening local capacities in a long-term platform development in extractive industries areas, initiated by the Albanian Government.  

The OSCE Mission representative Mr. Elton Qendro focused on the royalty platform process, and under the support of the OSCE Mission, for a close coordination with the local government units and the central institutions as an integral part of this process.

The Mayor of Bulqiza Mr. Lefter Alla, Mayor of Peshkopi Mr. Dionis Imeraj, Mayor of Mat Mr. Agron Malaj and Mayor of Klos Municipalities Mr. Ilmi Hoxha stressed out the importance of revising the royalty distribution formula; Procedures simplification for the royalty revenue stream distribution on the local government, as well as reconciliation issues of the values obtained from royalty by the Regional Directorates of Taxes.

Representatives of the municipalities expressed concerns related to the environmental and infrastructural impacts of the extractive industry activities, as well as the need to consider changing the legal framework regarding the revenue that municipalities should benefit from the concessionary activity in the HPP which are active in the territories covered by these municipalities.

Interactive discussions were held on the second session between all representatives of local government and representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, General Directorate of Taxes, NANR, Regional Environment Agency of Dibra regarding the royalty beneficiary optimizing process, as well as the reconciliation of all links of sensitive issues concern to the environmental and social impact of mining activities in these municipalities.

The MSG representative, Mrs. Hajnaj (Albanian Center for Development and Integration) – Project on royalty management and distribution at the local level; The expert contracted by the OSCE – A platform for Inter-Municipal Cooperation on Roylaty, Mrs. Alketa Skëndaj, as well as the representative of A. Sh. D. M .F, Mrs. Kelopatra Gjana presented the topics above on the third session of the inter-municipal Workshop.

The four Inter-municipal Workshops cycle on the Royalty Issues, organized by Albania EITI and OSCE, will be concluded in Tirana by a Technical Consultation Meeting with the local government focal points of the 16 pilot Municipalities, as well as with the National Conference planning to be organized in Tirana at the beginning of December 2019.