Nov 04, 2016 News
Cabinet has endorsed plans to overhaul the operations of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) with tough
measures promised to better govern the trade.
According to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during the post-Cabinet press briefings yesterday, the reforms are part of a long term plan to make the board more efficient and reduce deficits that had been plaguing the board.
On Tuesday, during the Cabinet meeting of minister and President David Granger, a number of proposals were presented by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.
Harmon said that the proposals by the ministry were based on the fact that the GGB has over the 35 years of its existence amassed significant deficits. It was in need of a review and overhaul of its structures,
Among the proposals were a legislation review and changes to allow the board to further enhance its monitoring and regulatory processes as well as to adjust its application, renewal and processing fees.
Consideration will also be given to a revision of penalties for offences.
Last year, the coalition Government entered office and was immediately faced with a major probe into gold smuggling.
In addition to the Gold Board, there are several licensed dealers and traders competing with that state-owned entity.
It was alleged that significant amounts of gold was being smuggled out of the country, through Suriname and other places.
The reforms would appear a direct response to the gold smuggling – bringing laws up to date and ensuring that the gold buyers are licensed by one agency.
On the local scene, as far back as 2014, the Gold Board found itself in a major fix-—It had bought gold from local miners and others at a high of US$1600-US$1700 per ounce. Before the Board could have sold, the price on the world market fell, leaving the entity with a lot of gold on hand.
The board was forced to sell over time, at a loss, leaving it a huge deficit in 2014 of up to $9B. That has been brought down to about two billion dollars now, but it is still a worrying situation for authorities.
According to Harmon yesterday, Cabinet has approved reforms to the human resources side of the board that will see more personnel on ground to monitoring the local trade.
While Guyana has been depending on one broker to sell its gold overseas, moves will be made to appoint additional ones to create better prices “through competition”, Harmon disclosed.
In the hinterlands, Government has not also opposed a proposal to introduce mobile purchasing operations for gold and even permanent offices in Region One, Eight and Nine.
Among some of the proposals that will likely become a reality are more powers to the GGB when it comes to the issuance of licences and permits relating to the gold trade.
Work to implement the recommendations will start immediately, Minister Harmon said yesterday.
Government has been keeping a close eye on gold which has remained a top foreign currency earner for the last eight years.
It fell behind rice in 2014 after world prices dropped but climbed back to the number one position last year.
Gold’s contribution to the mining and quarrying sector in 2015 was 72 percent, increasing from the 2014 contribution of 66 percent.
According to the Bank of Guyana 2016 half year report, gold export receipts amounted to US$390.7 million, 107.5 percent or US$202.4 million more than the June 2015 level, on account of higher export volumes and an increase in the average export price of gold.”
Export volume would have also increased by 102.4 percent to 327,326 ounces as a result of higher declarations.
Sep 18, 2021Kaieteur News – Some of the nation’s top cyclists are set to lock horns tomorrow when the Flying Stars Cycle Club (FSCC) stages the Victor Macedo Memorial Road Race from 07:00hrs on the East...
Sep 18, 2021
Sep 18, 2021
Sep 18, 2021
Sep 18, 2021
Sep 17, 2021
Kaieteur News – His head swollen by the new direction in mental thinking of White Americans, Donald Trump felt comfortable... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – It was predictable that, in an attempt to show that they are capable of collaboration,... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]