The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has welcomed what it described as “the tangible results” of its meaningful consultation with the Government of Guyana on Budget 2018.
It said the budget contained measures that will have tremendous positive impacts in expanding and sustaining the local mining industry, but also the economic well-being of Guyana as a whole.
The GGDMA said the government has moved in Budget 2018 to remove onerous burdens on the Gold and Diamond mining sector.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan observed during his Budget Presentation that the gold and diamond industry has been making a valuable contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, income, export earnings, and employment.
In recognition of this, the Government has enabled small and medium scale miners to benefit from tax concessions on machinery, equipment and fuel; and waiver and remission of taxes on vehicles, based on gold declarations.
For 2016, a total of $47.6 million in taxes was waived on motor vehicles, while, for 2017, such waivers have amounted to $64.4 million for personal motor vehicles and $188 million for fuel, so far.
Many operators in the sector have been approved to hold foreign exchange retention accounts; instead of the 10 percent, they have been allowed unlimited retention of foreign exchange to purchase mining equipment.
But following strong representation by the GGDMA, the Minister has proposed additional incentives to the industry which includes a reduction in the Tributor’s Tax from 20 percent to 10 percent, with effect from January 1, 2018.
Tributors will continue to file annual tax returns and pay any taxes due or be refunded as appropriate.
Both the GRA and the GGMC will intensify their efforts to bring operators in the industry within the tax net.
There will also be a replacement of the current ―2% of the gross proceeds regime with a sliding scale percentage that is based on the price of gold.
The GGDMA said over the past decades it has been the Gold and Diamond mining sector that has kept Guyana’s Economy growing from stride to stride.
“We are elated that the government has recognized these valuable contributions and has made sensible considerations based on prudent advice from stakeholders. We look forward to continued fruitful negotiations with the Government of Guyana going forward.”