Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t to keep better track of materials used in state projects

Gov’t to keep better track of materials used in state projects

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The government has issued an inter-ministerial prakas to regulate the exploitation of mineral resources used as construction materials in state infrastructure projects. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t to keep better track of materials used in state projects

The government has issued an inter-ministerial prakas to regulate the exploitation of mineral resources used as construction materials in state infrastructure projects.

It was signed by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth and Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem on June 23 and released to the public last week.

The prakas said it aims to improve the supervision of the aggregate – such as stone, gravel, sand, laterite and excavated soil – used in the projects, and enhance the collection of royalties in a more transparent, accountable and effective manner.

It covers such publicly-owned projects including, inter alia, roads, bridges, dams and hydropower stations.

It intends to “streamline mineral licensing procedures, facilitate granting exemptions from public service fees, and establish the procedures for the collection of royalties and applicable regulations in the event of royalty exemptions”, it added.

The ministry’s General Department of Mineral Resources director-general Yos Monirath said the prakas was written to collect more clear-cut data on the use of mineral resources as construction materials.

He noted that the state is liable for royalty payments for materials used in publicly-owned infrastructure projects.

“We want to know how much aggregate is supplied to the market for government infrastructure projects and how much the state will have to pay in royalties.

“In the past, high levels of material consumption had been observed, with people wondering why on earth revenue collection figures had been so low.

“These numbers record the revenue generated from mineral resources used in private sector ventures and do not account for the state’s burden,” said Monirath.

The prakas said all entities involved in state-owned infrastructure projects that directly use aggregate, whether public or private, must have a mineral resource licence as stipulated by the Law on Mineral Resource Management and Exploitation. They must apply for the licence within 45 days of receiving a contract.

Royalty liabilities and income from royalties must be declared to the state in accordance with applicable laws and legal instruments, it said.

Whether declaring royalties to the general department or purchasing aggregate on the market, it said, eligible entities may apply for a royalty waiver at the finance ministry.

Monirath said the Kingdom collected about $21 million in non-tax revenue from the mining sector last year, up five per cent from $20 million in 2018.

Late in April, he told a press briefing on the ministry’s progress, goal setting and action plans held at the Council of Ministers that the government’s policy encourages people to look into and invest in the sector.

He said the sector not only creates more job opportunities, but also contributes to revenue for national development.

The ministry is currently implementing a number of measures to curtail illegal mining and formalise informal mining to collect additional non-tax revenue, he said.

Monirath defined non-tax revenue as recurring income obtained by the ministry through sources other than taxes such as licensing fees, land leases, royalties and penalties.

Although mining receives lower non-tax revenue compared to other sectors, there is no regulatory framework in place to encourage the export of raw mineral resources, he said. “Investors are forced to build mineral processing plants which add value . . . to Cambodia’s exports.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub