TOKYO, Oct 10 – Transparency plays very important role in transforming a country’s resource wealth into other assets that support sustained development, said panelists at a discussion during the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings here.
“It is a very good idea if you get new revenue to be transparent from the very beginning,” said Clare Short, chair of the UK-based Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
She explained that it is important to inform the public about this from the start, before a government approves any company’s investment in any natural resource, so that people know what the contract is, what the taxation arrangement is, what the company saying to the states, how much it damages the environment and so forth.
The discussion on Wednesday afternoon was held against the backdrop of how resource-rich developing countries can transform their resource wealth into other assets that support sustainable development, while avoiding the boom-bust cycles that stem from volatility in natural resource revenues.
Maria Kiwanuka, Uganda’s minister of finance planning and economic development, agreed that before companies are to extract and use any natural resource, this should be informed to the public and voted through the parliament system. “So the people and the parliamentarians know how much (revenue) is going into infrastructure spending, going into investment…,” she added. (Sam Rith)