first_imgDear Editor,As a miner with over two decades’ experience, I am shocked at what is now happening with the mining lands in this country.The Commissioner of GGMC has taken it upon himself to illegally convert prospecting licences into mining permits. This is a corrupt practice, the sole aim of which is to undermine the mining regulations with impunity and allow for persons with big money and big connections to pick and choose the best mining lands in this country.When the PPP government converted prospecting licences into mining permits, we complained and pointed to the mining regulations. Experts highlighted the fact that it was illegal, and the PPP skirted the laws by saying the practice fell under the subject minister’s discretion, and was scarcely used under “special circumstances”. There was absolutely no transparency, and the practice became a big money business under the PPP. There were allegations of corruption and money laundering, favouritism, and even the execution-style murder of a GGMC employee who was said to be tied to the practice.This APNU-AFC government has now joined in the same illegal practice of the previous government; I do not believe any GGMC commissioner would be so bold as to blatantly attempt such mass illegality without government approval.The GGDMA unsurprisingly fully supports this illicit act, and its president seems to be more informed on what is happening than the minister. What the GGMDA president neglected to say, however, was that the members of his organisation are the main beneficiaries of this illicit practice.What does the Guyana Revenue Authority have to say about these conversions? Did that agency give the tax concessions and forego billions in taxes and other government revenues to facilitate the prospecting licences? What about the tax concessions, import duty, customs duty, and VAT waivers the GRA gave these PL holders and the SUVS, ATVS, excavators, bulldozers, land cruisers, pickup trucks, fuel etc? This agency’s silence is as deafening as it is suspicious.Somebody needs to investigate though; whether it be the President of Guyana, who is responsible for all lands in this country; SARA, as these lands are state assets; the Ministry of Natural Resources, which is the subject Ministry; or the GRA, for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.Something smells very fishy. Where are TIGI, SOCU and the subject minister? Why the silence?Mr Jones(Only name given)Minerlast_img