Ghana’s gold sector is under threat as news of smuggling becomes rife.
According to the Association of Gold Exporters of Ghana (AGEG) the reports are alarming.
They are blaming it on the high taxes imposed on gold export.
“The 10% withholding tax that was introduced was finally reduced to 3%. If I am going to buy gold and you ask me to withhold 3%, mineral commission is also charging 0.5%, now I am to send my gold to PMMC before I export. PMMC is charging 0.118%…if you add all these cost you are getting to 4%. In our neighboring countries if you are exporting gold, it is 1%, so this is encouraging smuggling,” Chairman of AGEG, Kwabena Asante Asare said in an interview with Starr Business’ Osei Owusu Amankwaah..
He expressed worry that if urgent steps are not taken to address the tax regime, Ghana’s Gold sector will face similar challenges the cocoa sector has been bedeviled with for years.
“We are aware that Togo is exporting gold a lot. I am not sure that Togo has any gold concession so where is the gold coming from?” wondered Mr. Asante-Asare.
According to him, the development is throwing Ghanaian gold exporters out of business.
“Today more than 90% of the industry is in the hands of foreign companies. The Ghanaians, we cannot compete anymore. They have a lot of network we don’t have. They have access to cheap funding we don’t have.”
In spite of the challenges with gold prices on the international market, revenues from gold exports into the economy was pegged at about 4 billion dollars by the end of 2016. The commodity brings the highest foreign exchange into the country after oil.