The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has said that its members will
refuse to pay a $4,000 processing fee effective next month.
According to GGDMA’s president, Terrence Adams, executives of the advocacy body met with officials of the Guyana Gold Board yesterday morning to discuss the fee which was announced over the weekend by the state entity.
The official said it was made clear to the GGB officials that its members will not be paying the fee because of a number of reasons.
In addition to the GGDMA executives, present at the meeting yesterday were Chairman for the GGB, Gabriel (GHK) Lall, and board member, John Yates.
“We had a meeting with the board and we tell them ‘sorry we would not be making that payment’. So they now want to meet with the minister (Raphael Trotman of the Ministry of Natural Resources) and us. That is where we are at.”
During the meeting, Adams said that GGDMA also asked the GGB to pull an advertisement it has been carrying in the newspaper with regards to the introduction of the $4,000 fee.
“We ask them to pull the ad in papers, as we will have to reply.”
On Sunday, in the Kaieteur News, GGB in a notice to all miners and dealers said that a processing fee of $4,000 will be charged on every transaction.
The fee introduction would have been effective July 1.
Currently, miners are required to pay a total of seven percent- a five percent tax and two
percent royalty on every ounce of gold sold.
The two percent goes to GGB with the five percent being remitted to the Guyana Revenue Authority.
GGB has been facing some major issues as the state arm for regulating gold purchases in Guyana.
Following the fall of gold prices a few years ago, it was left stuck with a huge gold inventory, suffering billions of dollars in losses.
With increased monitoring now for new laws targeting money laundering, GGB has been grappling with ways to increase its revenues.
On the other hand, miners despite gold prices looking up, have been complaining of hardships seeking to avoid taxes, poor infrastructure and other challenges.
Gold remained the largest foreign currency earner last year for the country, after dismal performance by other sectors like sugar and rice.
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