2022 Budget good news for small scale miners -Jinapor

November 25, 2021 By 0 Comments

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, has touted the 2022 Budget Statement as one that carries good news, because it has addressed a critical issue facing people in the small scale mining sector.

According to the Minister, before the presentation of the Budget, exporting of minerals attracted a 3% withholding tax, however, the 2022 Budget reduced the tax by 1.5%. He said this means exports by large scale miners attract only 1.5%, while that of small scale miners attracts zero percent.

He said this was very good news for people in the mining sector, especially small scale miners, because the tax was something they complained about bitterly.

He, therefore, called on his colleagues from the Minority side of the House to support and approve the Budget.

“This Agyenkwa Budget responds to the needs of the mining sector. There was a withholding tax of 3% on mines and there were a lot of agitations from, especially, small scale miners. The government has reduced the3%to1.5% and this means that if small scale miners export minerals, they will pay zero tax.”

That aside, the Minister also indicated that President Akufo-Addo was also seeking to establish an alternative livelihood program for illegal miners, hence, the need for his colleagues in the Minority to support and approve it.

He said the country was very familiar with issues relating to mining and its impact on jobs and livelihoods, and if this alternative livelihood program kicked off, it would be a bold step by the government to resolve the issue of unemployment arising out of efforts of the government to sanitise the small scale mining industry.

Still canvassing for support from the Minority members of the House, the Minister indicated that all these policies on the mining sector would not materialise if the country did not have a strong and visionary leadership.

He noted that the world was hit by a pandemic, and Ghana was not an exception, but the visionary leadership of the Akufo-Addo administration was bringing the country from the crisis to a stable one.

He said that the Bank of Ghana, on Monday November, 22, had it in one of its reports that annual growth rate in September 2021, was 11.2% compared to10.8% in 2020, and 4.2% in 2019, and said it was an indication that the measures being taken by President Akufo-Addo were yielding results.

He said inspite of all the difficulties that the economy had undergone, GDP growth in 2021 was 3.5%.

He noted that the best GDP growth by the John Mahama administration was in 2016, which was 3.4%, and there was no Covid-19 at that time, and so if the current government had achieved 3.5% growth, then it should be commended and encouraged to do more.

He also noted that without the crisis, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) took the country to the IMF, which led to a freeze on employment in the public sector and plunged the country into darkness.

He concluded by saying that the country required a visionary and competent leader to take it out of the pandemic, and indicated that the policies in the 2022 Budget, together with existing policies, would ensure that, that was achieved. He, therefore, called on his colleagues in the Minority to support the Budget.