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Small scale miners condemn arbitrary EPA permit fees

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Mining1The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) on Tuesday condemned the arbitrary increases in Environmental Protection Agency permit (EPA) fees for the small scale mining sector.

Mr Godwin Amarh, General Secretary of GNASSM, speaking at a news conference in Accra said even though the fees and charges were approved by Parliament, the Association felt they were on the high side.

He said the high fees could be a disincentive for Ghanaians to acquire the necessary permit and license to carry out mining operations.

He said with the passage of the fees and charges amendment instrument, 2014 (L.I. 2216) by Parliament, the agency got increases in its fees and charges, especially with regard to small scale mining.

“The permit fee for small scale mines rose from GH₵ 750 to $2,400 ($ 300 for processing and $ 2,100 for permit),” he added.

The General Secretary said the Association had also observed the increasing “dollarisation” of the fees and charges contrary to the laws and directives of the Bank of Ghana.

Mr Amarh said GNASSM is not against the upward review of the fees and charges by the ministries, agencies and departments so far as they are not exorbitant and unrealistic.

He said the Association was disappointed that despite formal petition for a consultative dialogue with the operators on the subject-matter, there was no response from the authorities.

He has therefore called on government to intervene to streamline the fees and charges to stop the “dollarization”.

He also said government should encourage stakeholder engagements before, during and after the passage of the amendment instrument to serve as a check on the institutions and the operation of the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009.

Mr Amarh expressed the hope that government would not ignore the wakeup call but rather streamline all fees and charges in consonance with the government’s vision.

Source: GNA

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