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Government agencies stop consideration of applications, issue of permits

Many government agencies have stopped consideration of applications and issue of permits to mining companies due to changes in the structure of the new Government of Kyrgyzstan. The International Business Council reports.

The State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry, the State Commission for Mineral Reserves and the Licensing Commission under the State Committee for Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use have not provided the necessary services for more than a month. This industry-critical issue was raised by members of the Mineral Resources Committee of the International Business Council (IBC), which brings together representatives from the country’s major mining and consulting companies.

«Subsoil users suggested the new government to envisage a transitional period, perhaps to adopt an appropriate order, in which to instruct all government agencies, before their transfer to new ministries and departments, to perform all the functions provided by law in full. At the same time, it should be stressed that it is necessary to continue issuing permits, approvals, export permits and other functions necessary for functioning of the economy,» the head of the IBC, Askar Sydykov, said.

Subsoil users are also concerned about some norms of the presidential decree on reforming the mining industry. The document provides for development of subsoil plots of national importance exclusively by a national mining company with 100% state participation in the authorized capital, with the exception of enterprises that have a license and are developing subsoil plots of national importance at the time of the adoption of the Mining Code.

Some investors who were in talks earlier have now suspended them because they are not ready to agree to the new conditions.

This applies not only to companies of national importance, but also to others, because the decree also provides for a certain state share for them. This news was published in many foreign media in such a context that Kyrgyzstan now opposes participation of foreign companies in the industry. The regulation on local purchases and some other norms of this decree raise questions.

«Therefore, the IBC Mineral Resources Committee will be actively involved in development of the Mining Code, stipulated by the decree, so that all proposals and comments of subsoil users are taken into account in the new document, and it would be balanced both in the interests of business and the state,» the IBC head said.