There will be no more US$3,000 signatures for Duty Free Concessions, says Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman who said that government would now be looking to engage miners bi-monthly to address some of their concerns.
The Minister at a press conference today stated that he was made aware that some persons would pay as much as US$3000, for him to sign off on their applications for duty free concessions, something which he does not wish to pursue.
“It has now become necessary for the Ministers office to pay close attention to the granting of duty free concessions to miners and this arose after I was informed by a person I know well that for my signature to approve (concessions) that persons would have to pay US$3000…” he stated.
With this now being eliminated, Trotman stated that steps are being taken for the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and other bodies to meet with miners fortnightly. “I have arranged to start a process of duty free concessions hearings where the miners themselves would appear with members of the GGMC and other officials where we would be able to speak to them about duty free concessions,” he stated.
The Minister stated that along with Junior Minister Simona Broomes, he will be focusing on making the issuance of duty free concessions more transparent, elimination room for corruption.
“We will be conducting field visits and the first such visit will be January 10 into Mahadia,” said Trotman.4
In addition to duty free concessions, other concerns including landlordism and threats to miners will be spotlighted at the meetings.