Galamsey Operators In Trouble

A proposed amendment to mete out stiffer punishment to illegal miners in the new Minerals and Mining Amendment Bill which is at the consideration stage generated heated debate in Parliament yesterday.

The proposed amendment is that offenders will be given not less than two thousand penalty units and not more than twenty thousand penalty units or sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years.

In addition to this, equipment of illegal miners which will be seized will be forfeited to the state and within 60 days, the minister responsible for mining will cause a publication of the intended sale to appropriate public institutions and subsequently gazetted accordingly.

The Majority, led by the chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho, wanted the seized equipment of illegal miners to be put up for sale to either public or private institutions while the Minority members vehemently objected to that, saying that if private people are allowed to buy such seized equipment the process will be abused.

The Minority members therefore maintained that only public institutions should be made to buy those seized equipment.

Before the consideration of the Minerals and Mining Amendment Bill, a paper on Co-operative Credit Union Regulations (2015) was laid by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, on behalf of the Finance Minister.

The business statement presented for the second week of the third meeting indicated that a number of questions have been scheduled to be answered by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the Minister of Roads and Transport.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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