Speaking at the 3rd Mining for Development Forum organised by the Ghana Chamber of Mines in Accra under the theme “Challenges to the state’s receipts from mining: When enough is not enough”, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Dr. Tony Aubyn indicated that, there has not been a mining policy since the independence of Ghana.
“Presently, after three years of drafting, I am told that, it is now before cabinet. But I believe they can quicken the pace,” he said.
“If we don’t have a vision for what we want to derive from our mining, then our activities will be misunderstood. It will be very good if we get it passed by close of this year,” he added.
According to him, the mining sector is the number one tax payer and highest contributor to the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) Domestic Collections and has contributed about GH¢1.46 billion to the GRA representing 27.04% of GRA’s Total Direct Taxes in 2012.
The mining sector has also paid GH¢893.77 million, in corporate tax to the GRA, representing 36.98% of the total company tax collected in 2012.
“The mining industry continues as the leading attractor of foreign direct investment (FDI) and has employed over 21,239 people directly of which 334 representing 2% are expatriates,” he said.
On his part, a Tax Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Edward Larbi-Siaw mentioned that government of Ghana is prepared to reduce mining taxes any time there is a fall in world gold prices.
Making a contribution to the discussion, the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Ben Aryee believes that the focus of government should be on the long term effects and benefits of mining. He however advised that, communities where gold are mined should be involved in the fight against illegal mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’.
By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor