Government Justifies Stability Agreement With Goldfields-Ghana

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The Finance Ministry has justified its decision to sign a Stability Agreement with mining firm, Goldfields-Ghana.Government through parliament last month announced its decision to allow Goldfields-Ghana to pay a fixed tax and royalty rate for the next 11 years.

 
This decision has, however, not gone down well with some civil society groups and even the committee that was established to review the agreement granted mining firms like, Anglogold and Newmont-Ghana.But Deputy Finance Minister Ato Forson tells JOYBUSINESS there was no way government could have declined the agreement.

 
“As soon as you set one precedent, in the case of Ghana, like Newmont, others doing similar investments will ask for similar equality. Failure to do it will mean they are going away and that is why I said that in taxing petroleum or mineral resources in the extraction industry, you really will have to look at what your sub-region is doing,” Mr. Forson said.

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He explained that others are benchmarking and failure to do it will mean that things will not be as they were which means taking an investment or a financial decision.According to Mr. Forson, they are taking a decision that would benefit the community as a whole and not necessarily to look at revenue but both.

 
“So you don’t only look at how much you get in terms of how much you are going to benefit, the impact on job, creation, the impact on growth, add them and then form an opinion. So if you are to dwell on one side you make a mistake,” he said.
According to the committee that is reviewing the stability agreements, the one given to Goldfields, could result in the country losing about $26 million annually.

Asmaa Mubita is a Kenyan journalist of international repute with over fifteen years of experience in broadcast journalism. Asmaa Mubita began his journalism career at the Kenyan state broadcaster (KBC) and later worked at the KTN owned by the Standard Group and Citizen Television, the flagship brand of Royal Media Services. These exploits together with his reporting experience with the Voice of America, CNN and BBC have been rewarded with local and global recognition.