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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[18.04.23] Kyrgyz Parliament Holds Hearing on Gold Mine

The Kyrgyz parliament held a hearing on 16 April to discuss the controversial and deeply indebted Kumtor gold mine, akipress.org and Pyramid TV reported. According to the reports, the Kyrgyz government, the parliament, and the state joint-stock company Kyrgyzaltyn agree only that the state budget has lost millions of dollars in revenues from the mine. The World Bank reportedly has said the Kyrgyz government made too many tax concessions to the investors in the project. Parliamentarians have frequently criticized the joint venture as not being in Kyrgyzstan's interest, and it has been unpopular with the public, especially after accidents associated with the project caused environmental damage. Government collusion in the mismanagement of the mine has been a theme for the opposition as well. Parliamentary concerns have been raised by an agreement between the government and the Canadian firm Cameco under which Kyrgyzstan's revenue from the mine would increase, but Kyrgyzaltyn would lose control of it. The government has set up a working group to evaluate the agreement, but Kyrgyzaltyn is refusing to cooperate, according to Deputy Finance Minister Satybek Moldokulov. Parliamentary deputies have called for control of the mine to be transferred to Kyrgyzstan.
The Times of Central Asia, April 18, 2003

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