29 Apr Arakan National Conference calls for Rakhine to get 50% of oil and gas revenues

Written by Maung Tintone and Kay Zue Published in Development Read 14291 times
Natural gas storage tanks at Maday Island, near Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State. Photo: Kyal Pyar/Mizzima Natural gas storage tanks at Maday Island, near Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State. Photo: Kyal Pyar/Mizzima

Delegates at the Arakan National Conference in Kyaukphyu have called for Rakhine State to receive a 50 percent share of all revenues from oil and gas projects in their region.

Among the delegates who called on April 28 for Rakhine to get a 50 percent share of the oil and gas revenues for state development was U Kyaw Khine from the Watch the Oil civil society group, who also said that all of the state should have electricity generated by natural gas.

The conference, the first of its kind to be held in Rakhine since 1947, began on April 27 and ends on May 1.

Delegates also proposed that Rakhine take direct responsibility for managing the exploitation of natural resources in the state.

“If laws like these are not prescribed soon, Rakhine State could soon be left depleted of resources,” Ko Soe Shwe from the Sky Youth civil society group told the conference.

All natural resources are managed by the Union government but the conference heard proposals for the states and regions to arrange for local level administrators and civil society groups to be included in contract agreements.

Reacting to the proposals made at the conference, Amyotha Hluttaw MP and secretary of its Mining and Natural Resources Committee, U Hla Swe, said all natural resources had to be considered for the national benefit.

“It would not be fair to use half of the revenues from Rakhine’s natural resources for the state’s sole benefit,” said U Hla Swe (Union Solidarity and Development Party, Magway Region).

“While some areas of the country have plentiful resources, others such as the Naga Self-Administered Zone in Sagaing Region have none,” he said.

“Those states blessed with natural resources should share for the sake of fairness.”

The New Light of Myanmar reported last August that the Kyaukphyu-Kunming natural gas pipeline would transport 500 million cubic feet of gas a day, of which 400 million cubic feet a day would go to China and the rest be reserved for domestic use.

It said that of the amount reserved for domestic purposes, 20 million cubic feet a day would be allocated for use at Kyaukphyu.

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 10:41