Govt reverses tax on mining, agricultural equipment

…move aimed to put small, medium miners back in business – Head of State

Making good on an issue it campaigned on and criticised the former APNU/AFC Government for, the President Dr Irfaan Ali-led Government has rolled back the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) and duties on mining equipment.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

President Dr Irfaan Ali made the announcement on Monday, during a press conference with Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC). In addition to the removal of VAT, Ali noted that the Government will be granting tax concessions on All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) for persons who use them in the productive sectors.
“The removal of VAT and duties on machinery and equipment, to allow for the recapitalisation of key sectors, including mining, forestry, agriculture and manufacturing. We have also decided on the granting of tax concessions on ATVs for mining, forestry, agriculture and manufacturing.”
He added that this is another measure in the party’s manifesto, adding that it will bring immediate relief to the mining, forestry, agriculture and manufacturing sectors – all of which have been underperforming and all of which have been faced with tremendous difficulties under the previous Administration.
President Ali noted that these measures will be a boost, particularly to the agriculture, mining and agriculture sectors. He pointed out that current estimates have the mining sector at a 65 per cent productive capacity, owing to many miners downing tools and parking their equipment due to poor rate of return.
“The estimate is that 65 per cent of the productive capacity in the mining sector has been lost. So, this will help to recapitalise the sector and will help to bring back all the medium and small miners into productive capacity and operation,” he said.
“It will help to create jobs, wealth and of course the trickle-down effect on the rest of the economy. It will bring back the forestry operators. Forestry has had tremendous difficulties over the years.”
While in Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was critical about the former Government’s handling – or lack thereof – of the mining sector. Last year, Ali had called out the then Government over its neglect of the sector and the burdensome taxes being imposed on miners.
“Had it not been for the two large gold mines established under the PPP/C, gold production would have been at a standstill, killing this once vibrant sector that sustained the Guyanese economy following the global financial crisis,” Ali had said last year.
Ali had also been critical of the removal of incentives that brought cost savings to miners and hinterland communities; leakages and favouritism in the distribution of mining properties and claims, and neglect, mismanagement and corruption, which festered under the previous Government. (G3)