The minerals and mining sector of the country contributed GHC1.24 billion to the national economy last year. This amount which was presented through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), represents 16.2 per cent of total direct tax in 2014, relative to a share of 18.7 per cent in 2013.
The fiscal proceeds mobilised by the GRA from the sector comprised GH¢454.5 million, GH¢470.3 million and GH¢312.6 million in corporate taxes, royalties and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) taxes respectively.
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Johan Ferreira disclosed this at its 86th annual general meeting in Accra.
He said the subdued revenue inflow from the sector impacted negatively on the government’s capacity to finance the country’s recurrent and capital expenditure, and this sentiment was expressed by the Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, in the 2015 budget and economic statement. Data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) indicated that the share of mineral export in total merchandise exports reduced to 34 per cent from 37 per cent in 2013.
This outcome, according to Mr Ferreira, stemmed mainly from the bearish price of gold on the world market. He also pointed out that for the second successive year, the aggregate mineral revenue of the members of the chamber declined, as it dropped from about US$4.8 billion in 2013 to about US$4 billion in 2014, representing a fall of 17 per cent.
“Gold revenue, which accounted for nearly 98 per cent of the basket of mineral revenue, also declined from about US$4.6 billion in 2013 to about US$3.8 billion in 2014,” he added.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, commended the chamber for the collaborative efforts with other global players in the industry to champion development through mining and its associated activities.
“I know the chamber has been working with others to establish chambers of mines in African mining frontier countries. Again, its collaboration with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) over the years is commendable,” he said.
He, however, urged the chamber not to rest on its laurels but continue to work hard since the industry was yet to achieve the optimal developmental impacts that it could potentially have.
Nii Osah Mills also pointed out some of the challenges in the industry which included conflicts in the relationship between members of the chamber and their local communities, and the social and environmental breaches that occurred from time to time.
“Workers still undertake or threaten to undertake industrial action and government is still keenly seeking to enhance its equity in the distribution of the economic benefits generated by the mines,” he added.
Source : graphic.com.gh