The Minister of Mines and Energy has announced $63 billion investments for projects in the producing municipalities of Meta

The Minister of Mines and Energy has announced $63 billion investments for projects in the producing municipalities of Meta

Ministry of Mines and Energy. Villavicencio, Meta. August 30th, 2017.  As part of the constructive dialogue process with the parties involved in the mining and energy dynamics of the Meta Department, 17 projects of community interest worth  $63 billion pesos will be presented during the "Municipal OCAD for Meta" tomorrow, August 31st. These include the construction of educational institutional as well as the improvement and preparation of roads and public lighting, among other investments.

This was announced today by the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata, during the Follow-Up Meeting for the Commitments from the Conversation on the Hydrocarbons sector that had previously taken place in the Office of the Governor of Meta during July 12th.

The Minister underlined that during the series of OCAD meetings for the producing municipalities in Meta, which shall be held tomorrow, there will be a presentation about three projects that involve resources from the Production Incentive. These projects are worth over $18 billion pesos.

Regarding environmental matters, the head of the cabinet position for mining and energy said that efforts are being made with the Governor, the Minister of the Environment, ANLA and Cormacarena in order establish speedy and efficient mechanisms for investing the 1% figure corresponding to compensations. "We believe that Habitant Banks and Peace Forests are the way to go forward," he said.

Regarding the subject of employment, he highlighted that there have been work meetings between the Office of the Governor of Meta, the Ministry of Labor and the industry in order to review the commitments about contracting labor from the local area.

He referred to the legislative bill currently going through Congress about the General System of Royalties and state that "yesterday, we have reached an agreement with the congressmen who are serving as conferees in order to include, as part of the text that will be submitted to the plenary sessions of the House and the Senate today, a proposal regarding 30% of the financial benefits resulting from the General System of Royalties for the purpose of assigning these resources to the municipalities where non-renewable natural resources are being extracted and also for the municipalities and districts with sea or river ports where said resources or their derivatives are transported."

He added that another agreement concerned the inclusion of criteria for distributing 7% of the Peace contribution, by specifying that this is intended for the producing municipalities.

During the Follow-Up meeting, the participants included the Minister of Labor, Griselda Restrepo, and the Governor of Meta, Marcela Amaya; in addition, other individuals in attendance were the nine mayors from producing municipalities throughout Meta; the National Hydrocarbons Agency, the Special Administrative Unit for the Public Employment Service, the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP), Campetrol, the Chamber of Commerce of Villavicencio and the Regional branch office for Fenalco in Meta.

The Ministry of Labor used this opportunity to review the main resources for labor conflicts in the hydrocarbons sector and presented, together with the Public Employment Service, a progress report on the implementation of Decree 1668 of 2016 within the Department of Meta.

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