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Government has denied that it has taken a decision to rescind a number of duty free concessions to miners, including waivers of the Value Added Tax (VAT), motor vehicles and spares.Yesterday, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), in calling for its members to galvanise to take actions to safeguard their livelihood,Joe Gilliam Steelers Jersey, said it has received “highly credible information” that the current government will be rescinding all the concession granted to miners.The association said that the Ministry of Finance is expected to make this announcement in his budget speech early next month, and will include measures that will result in the removal of all VAT waivers; concessions for fuel and lubricants and concessions for motor vehicles, spares and parts, and on tools and equipment.GGDMA, which has been the main advocacy body for miners in recent years, made it clear that the “non- renewal” of the fuel import licences is the ultimate betrayal of the miners by the APNU/AFC government, and will only serve to make the already difficult industry harder, if not impossible.“The association is calling on the government to restore the status quo and return all the concessions granted to miners under the PPP/C administration.”However, the Ministry of Natural Resources in a statement setting the “record straight”, said it was with the coalition, in the latter part of 2015, that agreements were signed among the GGDMA,Thomas Vermaelen Barcelona Jersey, the Guyana Energy Agency and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, regarding a number of exemptions from customs duties on fuel and equipment.According to the ministry as the period would suggest,Trevor Daley Adidas Jersey, the agreements were signed under the current administration, contrary to what was said in the press release.The ministry denied that the current government has given no additional help to the industry since coming into office last year. This statement simply has no basis in fact, the ministry said.“We can state also that the Ministry of Finance is currently engaged in discussions regarding these concessions and other forms of support to the mining sector,China Jerseys Cheap, including reviewing requests for renewal of these concessions. We urge that the executive of the GGDMA await confirmed information from the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Natural Resources before making inaccurate pronouncements that do no one any good.”The statement said that the David Granger-led Government places immense value on the contribution of mining to the socio-economic well-being of Guyana,http://www.cheapcustomjerseys.us.com/NHL/Custom-Chicago-Blackhawks/, and especially hails the contributions of small and medium scale miners.“The administration has no intention of turning its back on the miners at this critical time of national development.”In its release, GGDMA insisted that the current administration has given no additional help to the industry.“They have provided no new concrete concessions and to date they have not put in one single road or other infrastructural work that directly benefits the industry. The GGDMA notes that the Finance Minister seems to be in direct defiance of the promises made by His Excellency President David Granger to grant the industry several concessions, and to which the industry initially received letters of commitments, but no action.”The association said that it appears that Finance Minister (Winston Jordan) has the power of veto over the President’s commitments and the Government is taking a deliberate anti-mining stance.The association said the gold industry is set to surpass the 600,000 ounces mark this year.“Two-thirds of this figure is the direct effort of the small and medium scale miners. We have produced this much gold without the concessions or tax breaks the foreign companies enjoy. Given the same concessions as the foreign companies we can produce more than 600,000 ounces by ourselves,” the association argued.The association said that this “proposed backward step” to remove all waivers and concessions, will see a significant decline in the production targets next year and many more miners on the breadline.“The industry is already suffering and this betrayal is going to kill mining in Guyana. Miners are prepared to take all necessary steps to ensure that the industry survives. We will stand together,” the association said.Government has set a record target of 600,000 ounces, with over 530,Artem Anisimov Jersey,000 ounces already declared. The Guyana Gold Board and its licenced buyers have another month and half to reach that target and with two large scale operations – Guyana Goldfields and Troy Resources – in play, it is likely the target will be met.Yesterday, gold prices on the world market remained an encouraging US$1258 per ounce.Gold is the biggest foreign currency earner for Guyana.
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