Withdrawal from EITI Was Erroneous Step - Expert

The presidential decree "On additional measures to increase transparency and accountability in the extractive industry" is a positive step in terms of promoting transparency. However, it would be better to do such steps within the framework of international structures. This opinion was voiced by Gubad Ibadoglu, a member of the international board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), in an interview with Turan.

If the decree were issued before Azerbaijan withdrew from the EITI, it would enhance transparency in the extractive industry. Now, on the one hand, Azerbaijan withdraws from the EITI, and on the other hand it declares that it will respect the standards of the Initiative.

He drew attention to the fact that the decree confirms part of Azerbaijan's obligations under the EITI, and implementation is entrusted to the newly created government commission. It is also commissioned to prepare proposals.

According to the decree, the state will report to the citizens on revenues from managing the resources of the extractive industry and ensure the transparency of all stakeholders, including state bodies, companies, international organizations, financial institutions, investors and NGOs.

Ibadoglu considers this decree to be recognition of the government's erroneous statement of March 10 on the withdrawal from the EITI, which was "a hasty and emotional step."

It follows from the decree that Azerbaijan wants to focus only on income reporting. However, questions arise as to how the EITI will apply the standards of transparency of contracts and licenses, information on raw material trade, and, most importantly, the disclosure of property owners,

According to him, the EITI focuses not only on announcing the income report once a year, it is necessary to report on the owners of companies, for each project separately.

"I think that it would be more effective for Azerbaijan to remain in the EITI and use its opportunities," Ibadoglu said.

He believes that Azerbaijan should return to the EITI, for in the current situation, the country needs investment, and remaining on the sidelines, it is difficult to achieve that. -06D--

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