The Royal Government of Bhutan was presented with a $300,000 grant from the World Bank-led Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) multi-donor trust fund to support reforms in the mining sector and assist the Department of Geology and Mines in implementing its 2017 Mineral Development Policy.

The Supporting Minerals Management Policy Reform project will help revise the 2002 Mines and Minerals Management Regulations; access international best practice on mines allocation, strategic minerals and mineral pricing; support advocacy programs for the implementation of the Mineral Development Policy; build technical capacity within the Mineral Development Division; and enhance information system and compliance monitoring.

“The Mining sector is one of the five jewels of the economy. It is an important sector and currently it accounts for three percentage of GDP. This grant will provide support to the ongoing sector reforms and help in accelerating development of the mining sector”, said His Excellency Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, the Finance Minister.

“This grant is very timely as we are looking to bring major reforms in the mineral sector to curb many of the issues faced in the past,” said Dasho Yeshi Wangdi, the Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

“Our aim is to have a stronger and vibrant mineral sector to manage the country’s mineral resources for maximum benefit to the nation and the people.”

The EGPS grant is part of the World Bank’s continued support to the mining sector in Bhutan. Previously, the Bank provided technical assistance to develop the Mineral Development Policy and the draft Mines and Minerals Management Bill through several rounds of consultations with various stakeholders and private mining firms.

“The Bank’s technical assistance will support initiating reforms in the mineral sector that will benefit multiple stakeholders,” said Yoichiro Ishihara, the Resident Representative for Bhutan. “It will help improve the business environment and increase both private sector investments and mining operations which will contribute to economic growth and create jobs.”

Source: www.worldbank.org

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