Source: kasapafmonline.com - The Managing Director of Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC), George Abradu-Otoo, has bemoaned the rate at which the country is losing revenue through illegal export of its natural resources, especially gold.
According to him, his checks from reliable sources in the gold business have revealed that Ghana in 2014 exported US$2.5 billion worth of gold to India.

The commodity, he noted, never passed through the appropriate channels for it to be taxed.

The Indian experience is one of several others that needed to be halted to enable the country generate enough revenue to pursue its development programs.

“From official sources which has been authenticated, gold that was exported to India alone last year (2014) was worth US$2.5billion. It never passed through the appropriate the quarters. I feel that people are not patriotic. For you to sit here for a foreigner to come and give you some small amount of money to loot all these gold without raising alarm shows that people don’t love the country. If you love your country, you wouldn’t sit unconcern for a foreigner to come to Ghana to do this. This is a source of worry,” he noted in an exclusive interview with Kasapa FM.

He added, “there are loopholes in the system for people to bribe their way out. For instance, somebody goes to the airport and he or she has 50 kg of gold but will pay his or her way out by declaring 10 kg. Meanwhile, we also don’t have any means of checking them.”

The practice of illegal gold export started about four years ago when the Lands Commission granted permission to some private companies to be able to export the commodity.

Due to the lapses in the exportation, the Bank of Ghana issued a directive that all gold exports should be certified by PMMC.

This is to enable the country get its share of revenue from the commodity through tax before exporting it.

However, the directive has failed as a result of lack of enforcement.

Mr Abradu-Otoo commenting further accused some officials at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Lands Commission and some other players in the industry for undermining the implementation of the Bank of Ghana’s directives due to their own personal gains.

“They don’t see why they should route their money through the PMMC because when you do that you can no longer under declare the commodity. Once you remit it through the PMMC, we will make sure the money comes into the country but if you don’t, we will not allow you to do any shipment. It is against the rules and your license can be revoked.”

In his opinion, if the country had adhered to the directives of the Bank of Ghana, it wouldn’t have gone to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.
 


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