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We must have proper records of gold produced in the country - Ben Boakye

Ben Boakye ACEP E1564555229185 664x375 1 Benjamin Boakye is the Executive Director of ACEP

Sun, 28 Mar 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Executive Director of the African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), Benjamin Boakye has maintained that there should be a proper system established to track every ounce of gold produced in the country.

He explained that it raises a lot of concerns to learn that the country loses up about $5 billion yearly from unaccounted gold and the smuggling of thereof.

Benjamin Boakye was responding to a question on JoyNews' news analysis program, Newsfile, on Saturday, March 27, 2021, regarding the revelation that the country loses that much annually from the lack of checks on who is producing gold and exactly how much of it they do.

He explained that the practice that has pertained has been for the gold buyers to determine prices themselves, thereby making it difficult for even taxes to be slapped on them.

"In some instances, the gold buyer will ask you, if I'm taking withholding, this is the price I'm offering for the gold, if I'm not, this is the price. And, usually the price for not taking the withholding is higher, so the incentive then to pay taxes was non-existent. So, the proposal then was for the GRA to look at mechanisms to track output and once we are able to track output, we can then decide whether it is 0.5%, 0.2% or 1% and that is optimal to sustaining the accounting, then policy can be engineered to be able to attract them," he said.

He advised that to be able to check all of this, then there is the need for a proper rollout of a plan to tabulate and document where all our gold is coming from and going to.

"If you check with even the numbers that the president mentioned - 5 billion, if you were able to take one percent from the 5 billion, that is $15 million for the budget. So, we really need to know how much gold is produced but unfortunately, the incentive to do the hard work, that is the hardest work and to engineer policy to stop the illegality and track production," he explained.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com