–with potential $1.9B in direct relief for mining industry, operators say
THE Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) is optimistic that operational costs will decline and activities will be enhanced with the potential $1.9 billion in direct relief for the mining industry.
The relief measures, described by GGDMA as instrumental, were announced by Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo during an engagement with key stakeholders in the mining industry at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, on Tuesday.
Among those potential measures are the removal of the 10 per cent tributors tax; the reduction of the final tax from 3.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, and the removal of value-added tax (VAT) on lubricating oils.
The implementation of those measures will result in immense benefits for stakeholders in the mining industry, which already contributes a large percentage to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
By implementing the new initiatives, the government will not just be fulfilling its manifesto promise, but will also be contributing in ways that were not previously mentioned.
Speaking about once such measure, the potential removal of the 10 per cent tributors tax, the GGDMA said: “The abolishment of this tax will benefit the personnel working within the various mining operations throughout the country, as larger disposable incomes will allow them to better support their families during this time of rising prices. Managers and owners of mining operations welcome this move as it will create a more level playing field for recruitment and retention of quality personnel.”
The association also commended the government’s move to reduce the final tax on income from gold produced, declared, and sold to 2.5 percent.
Further, according to the GGDMA, the removal of the 14 per cent VAT on lubricating oils will have an immediate, positive impact, not just on the mining sector, but all other sectors such as construction and agriculture, where heavy equipment is essential.
Also, with the government’s commitment to expend some $2.4 billion on road upgrades in mining areas, and its commitment to further road development are aligned with the needs of the mining industry.
This, the association said, will provide key linkages to mining areas, allowing for ease of access and reduction in transportation costs.
“In totality, these measures will result in approximately $1.9 billion returning to the industry, which will be utilised to reduce the burden of added operational costs and also to improve varying aspects of miners’ operations,” GGDMA said.
Outside of the measures announced by the government, the GGDMA also highlighted the need for reform at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and closer collaboration between the association and the Ministry of Natural Resources, which Vice-President Jagdeo guaranteed would be addressed.
The government also expressed a willingness to encourage better relations between miners and the local banking sector to potentially overcome hurdles faced regarding access to financing.