BY Leroy Smith in Bartica, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Region Seven.
The Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes and Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia, today (Saturday, February 4, 2017) held a meeting with small miners in Bartica.
The syndicate requested the meeting with the Ministry and GRA to raise issues and seek answers to their concerns about land acquisition, concessions and their obligation to the taxation agency.
The meeting which was held at the Regional Democratic Council Office of Region 7 building and was attended by close to 200 persons.
It was here that Broomes told miners that raids of their concessions by rangers without proper cause would cease even as she urged them not to exploit humans, especially children, in their quest to attain and amass wealth.
It was noted that the land these miners are prospecting is virgin territory and as such miners were asked to ensure that their activities are executed in accordance with safety and environmental regulations.
Meantime Mr Statia in his remarks told the miners that the law he recommended be changed would allow for consistency in the sector and would also focus on those who would have managed to evade the tax net for many years.
Statia said too that close to 30 percent of the gold being sold is done by the large miners adding that the two (2) percent tax was necessary as this too ensures that everyone contributes to the country in some way.
It it along this vein that he encouraged those there to keep records of their taxes paid and if the government sees that the tax ought not to have been implemented against a certain person as they did not meet the desired income which required the 2 percent taxation, then that would be returned.
“It was not structured for people who are involved in small mining” the GRA head explained.
News Room’s Leroy Smith and Keon Blades are out on special assignment in the mining town.