The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) has said the introduction of the 10 percent withholding tax on small-scale and artisanal miners has triggered smuggling of minerals to Ivory Coast and Togo from Ghana.
According to the association, the withholding tax charged on small-scale and artisanal miners in Ivory Coast and Togo is low.
Following the implementation of the new income tax law, small-scale and artisanal miners will now pay 10 percent withholding tax.
Francis Opoku, in an interview with the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners, called for a reduction in the tax, which if not heeded to, could trigger a nationwide demonstration.
“Apart from we losing the government also stands to lose, this is because a lot of people have started smuggling. The Indians, some of them have license to buy and now they have seen that if they are able to take the gold to Togo or Ivory Coast the tax over there is less and as the government has plans to rake in huge revenues that vision will be missed because a lot of the gold will be smuggled out, as their tax is 5%.
“We have petitioned government and all the relevant stakeholders, including the minerals commission and if we don’t hear anything as we wait to have positive response from them, then we will set in motion what our members in 10 different districts are asking for, that is begin series of demonstrations until our demands are met,” Mr Opoku added.
Earnings from the 10 percent tax, according to government, is also to compensate for losses the country currently incurs through operations of small scale miners as a result of non-payment of royalties and other tax revenues.