Gold exporters want consolidation of taxes

January 26, 2017
Source: Bernard Yaw Ashiadey /thebftonline.com/Ghana
Gold exporters want consolidation of taxes

The Association of Gold Exporters, Ghana, has asked that government reduces and consolidates taxes and levies in the industry.

The new government, Kwabena Asante Asare, Chairman of the association, said, should remove some of the many taxes, reduce others and consolidate what is left into one major levy to be deduced at source.

“The first thing they should look at is to find a way to reduce or remove the fees and taxes slapped on exporters,” he told the B&FT in an interview at the maiden Global Gold Dore Forum 2017, which came off in Accra.

The inaugural edition of the forum, organised by Foretell Business Solutions, in association with the Ghanaian gold exporters, is to put the miners and exporters from Africa in direct touch with refiners from India, Middle East and Russia and facilitate responsible and sustainable business.

The gold exporters pay a 3percent withholding tax to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA); 0.5percent to Minerals Commission for the Small-Scale Mining Sustainability Fund; and a 0.118percent to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company.

Mr. Asare wants the 3percent withholding tax removed and the rest of the taxes consolidated and charged as a single tax or levy. He explained that the introduction of these taxes account for the rise in smuggling gold and other minerals out of the country.

“All small-scale miners and others export their gold through us and so it is easier to monitor us than the galamsey operators; and so, the 3 percent tax is scaring them away and encouraging smuggling,” he said.

Hari Iyer, CEO of Sakthi Trading Group, the lead sponsor of the conference, noted that governments all over the world are demanding more transparency and responsible conduct from players in the gold market.

“Sakthi Trading Group firmly believes responsible business is the only sustainable business. We would like to understand various initiatives in these areas from government and non-government players in Africa and would like to be a part of the solution where ever the best possible. We are open to new collaborations and partnerships that comply with the regulations and are equivalently fair,” he added.

Dr. Tony Aubynn, CEO of the Minerals Commission, noted that the issue of traceability of the gold produced in the country is becoming very important because people who are buying gold in particular do not want to feel that they are using products that were produced unethically.

“Ethical consumers want to make sure that what they are consuming is not causing problems anywhere. It has become very important and some are boycotting some refineries where they are unable to determine the source of their raw materials,” he added.

He explained that it is important that the industry maintains the traceability of the gold produced in the country.

Srivatsana Ganapathy, Managing Director of Foretell Business Solutions, who organised the forum, noted that the gold mining industry is at the cusp of transformation, hence the relevance of the conference.

“This conference marks the beginning of an effort to bring mined gold supply chain participants together and deliberate on the policies, processes, and practises to shape the future,” he added.