On November 25 2018, Afghanistan’s Government Media and Information Center (GMIC) hosted Her Excellency, Ms. Nargis Nehan, acting Minister of Mines to officially launch the Online Transparency Portal in the presence of Deputy Minister Anyatullah Momand, Director of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP), Mahbobullah Rabani, several media outlets and members of the afghan civil society. The Online Transparency Portal (https://transparency.mom.gov.af/) is a portal that publishes data from Afghanistan’s Ministry’s Mining Cadastre Administration System (MCAS) with payment information from the Non Tax Revenue System (NTRS).
Ms. Nehan stated that the extractive sector in Afghanistan as a key sector that will support the country with job creation, economic development and self-sufficiency. The Online Transparency Portal’s goal is to publish mineral rights data to the public free of charge. This information includes mineral applications, contracts and payments made by the individuals and Mining companies operating in Afghanistan.
The Portal would also help with damage control, assist in anti-corruption efforts and improve accountability in extractive industries. The civil society, media, investors, private sector, and regulatory agencies will now be able to view all mineral rights information and payments online which increases the ministry’s transparency and accountability efforts.
Ms. Nehan reiterated that the government of Afghanistan is determined to fight corruption on all levels. The Ministry will continue to work to create a safe and transparent environment in the collection of royalty payments and other fees for international companies and local miners.
In the Long term, the portal will be a great opportunity to increase production amounts, royalties and other fee payments. Future developments include online applications, whereby companies with an account will be able to apply through the online transparency portal as well as make payments online. Additionally, the portal would be connected to the Ministry of Finance’s database to assist with ensuring that the government collects taxes from mining companies, thus increasing government revenue from the sector.
Finally, the Portal will keep Afghanistan’s good standing with regulatory bodies such as the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). Such good standing will continue to attract foreign investors, donors and other positive recognition of the extractive sector in Afghanistan.
MCAS and NTRS are developed by the Revenue Development Foundation (RDF) and have been operating in Afghanistan since 2017 with funding from DFID and the German Cooperation, GIZ.