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PM orders strict regulation of foreign currency sourced from investors  

A new order issued by the Prime Minister instructs the Ministry of Planning and Investment to tighten up the management of foreign currency sourced from investors, to help resolve the government’s foreign debt issue.

The government wants every mining operation to undergo stringent inspections.

The ministry is also advised to source more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by making the investment process easier and speeding up project approval. The order states that the monitoring of FDI, foreign loans and Official Development Assistance must be tied in with the banking system, and that information around investment must be openly shared. Investors’ funding certification should also be carried out and recorded electronically.
The ministry was instructed to accelerate the inspection and re-evaluation of privately-owned domestic and foreign funded projects, especially experimental mining projects and ordinary mining operations.
If it is found that no progress has been made in these projects, the investor concerned must be given notice of impending project cancellation, cancellation of a Memorandum of Understanding, or the withdrawal of the project contract.
Non-performing project owners that have outstanding financial obligations will also be required to fulfil them.
Other obligations under a contract must also be fulfilled, to ensure the project owner does not continue to remain inactive, especially in cases where a company has been awarded several concessions for project development.
The order also instructed the ministry to revise the Law on Investment Promotion in line with current socio-economic development conditions, as well as ensure proper regulation and law enforcement. For example, the decree on casino management must be finalised as soon as possible.
All processes around development projects must be spelled out in detail and the rights and responsibilities of local authorities enhanced when giving permission for land concessions for agriculture and forestry projects and services.
At the same time, the ministry was advised to reevaluate business and investment operations in relation to large-scale and strategic projects, formulate measures to encourage the import of funds to develop projects in special economic zones and industrial development zones and other projects, and ensure these are implemented as planned.
Where several companies are interested in setting up a mining operation, an auction must be arranged so that concession rights go to the highest bidder. More grants must be made available to the government and long-term loans at low interests sourced, according to previously set conditions.
Every mining operation must undergo inspection and potential investors should be selected only if they can show they are a professional company with expertise, a sizeable amount of capital and years of experience. They should not be a brokerage company and not have been awarded rights to operate several other projects.
In addition, all investing companies must be debt free and have no outstanding obligations to the government.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 1, 2023)

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