The Ministry of Finance has rejected claims that Ghana’s development agreement with Goldfields Ghana Limited was a giveaway.
According to the Ministry, the agreement was an investment decision by government which was to sustain revenues and jobs for the country.
There has been heavy backlash from civil societies over the development agreement signed between government and Goldfields Ghana Limited.
Government through Parliament, agreed to a new development agreement with Goldfields Ghana limited which will see Goldfields invest 500 million dollars in its mines.
However civil society group, Third World Network says the deal is illegal and a breach of section 49 of the minerals and mining Act 2006 (Act 703) on development agreement.
But a deputy Minister of Finance Cassiel Ato Forson in an interview with Citi Business News insists Ghana will ultimately benefit from the development agreement with Goldfields.
“It was about bringing investments into the country and goldfields wanted to do so to the tune of over the 500 million dollars and even bigger than what Newmont invested. The decision was one that will benefit the economy as a whole; not necessarily look at revenue but we should look at both revenue and job creations as well,” he stated.
Mr. Kwetey added, “So you don’t only look at capital injection but you look at the economy in terms of how much we are going to benefit. The impact on job creation, the impact on growth and others and add them together which will help you form an opinion but if you will only dwell on one side you will make a mistake. The deal is a good one for the country.”
Government in March this year announced it has granted tax and royalty concessions to mining firm Gold Fields Ghana Limited.
The move also formed part of the stability agreement reached after three year talks with Goldfields to ease the tax burden on the mining company.
But in a subsequent commentary on the agreement reached, the Third World Network described the development as illegal.
According to the Network’s coordinator, Dr. Yao Graham, the act breached provisions of Article 48 of the constitution which indicates that,
“The holder of the mining lease will not be adversely affected by a new enactment, other instrument or other action. It may not be adequately affected by subsequent changes to the level of payment of customs, taxes and other physical imports.”
By: Norvan Acquah-Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana