Gov’t not neglecting mining industry contrary to public perception-Min Trotman
DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, in a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), said the mid-year declaration of gold is on target “to come close to the 700,000 mark”, set for 2017.
Minister Trotman said he is “optimistic” that the annual declaration, which is announced during the National Budget presentation, will be met. Additionally, he added that statistics show that the tax measures that were introduced to the industry early this year, did not severely affect the industry’s performance.
“Despite the naysayers and detractors that were saying some of the measures that were introduced by the government are hurting the industry, we’re really not seeing that, so you know there are lies and then there are statistics”, Minister Trotman said.
The new tax measures that were introduced this year includes an increase in tributors tax from 10 percent to 20 percent and the payment of a two percent tax along with the requirement of all miners to file their income tax returns.
The Minister assured that his Ministry continues to look “for ways to bring some new measures, some relief some incentive to the mining industry”. The Ministry of Natural Resources has been in consultation with mining bodies such as the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) and the Guyana Women Miners’ Association (GWMA) as it prepares for budget 2018.
Meanwhile, Minister Trotman dismissed claims that the government is neglecting the mining industry, for the new oil and gas industry. “The grounds that government is not aiding the industry, we are not seeing evidence of it”, he said.
Minister Trotman acknowledged that “there are some frustrations” by miners but highlighted that “nine out of 10 times” he “quietly” grants concessions and wavier fees and penalties that often times add up to millions of dollars.
“We have been doing our best at the Ministry here, to level the playing field. Apart from what is seen in the public, we’ve been doing our best to give aid”, Minister Trotman said.
Minister Trotman reiterated that the government will not neglect any sector in favour of the oil and gas industry. “Government does not intend and does not want the economy to rest solely on oil…mining has been a part of life for Guyana and we want it to continue to be so”, he stressed.
The gold mining industry continues to perform as well as it did in 2016. As of June 2017, the sector produced some 318,000 ounces of gold.
By: Tiffny Rhodius