Council of Ministers Approves Seven Major Mining Development Deals

ADDIS ABABA – The Council of Ministers has approved seven major mining development agreements that could generate 4.7 billion US dollars revenue to Ethiopia, according to the Office of Prime Minister.

The draft deals, presented by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, received the approval during PM Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet 100th meeting on Thursday.

The documents have initially been evaluated by a Committee of Legal, Technical and economic experts set up by the ministry before submission to the council, says the Office in a statement.

The evaluation involved feasibility of the investments, importance to the country’s economic development, the mining companies the initial capital as well as their credibility, it says.

Implementing the investments will generate over 4.7 billion US Dollars and create more than 1, 300 jobs, says the statement without delving into the specifics.

After ensuring that they have provisions that make Corporate Social Responsibility mandatory and adding some inputs, the council agreed for the agreements to be signed and come into effect.

During the same meeting, the Council of Ministers in its 100th meeting also approved three draft laws including a draft federal income tax regulation.

Officials believe the current Federal Income Tax Regulation that has been in effect since August 2017 is contributing to the modernization, efficiency and proper management of the country’s economy.

However, lack of clarity in some articles of the regulation creating pressure on economic activities, the PM Office says. The council ratified the bill after deliberation on a motion to amend the regulation in detail,

The council has also passed draft proclamations to regulate public servants and private employees social securities in the country.

The bills, which aim to improve the existing proclamations to provide fast, efficient and accessible services to the pensioners, referred to the lower house of Ethiopian parliament for further discussion and ratification, according to the PM office.

Thursday’s meeting also approved a draft regulation for establishment of rehabilitation medical services.

Its main purpose, says the statement, would be to manufacture rehabilitation equipment, especially artificial limbs or prosthesis and assisting technologies, as well as availing the services throughout the country.