The Member of Parliament for Manso Nkwanta in the Amansie West Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Hon Joseph Albert Quarm has said no government in the fourth republic has taken such a bold step to fight illegal mining, 'Galamsey', in a bid to protect the environment apart from the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo.
He made the comment in his contribution to the debate on the 2019 Budget statement in Parliament today.
Joseph Quarm said the setting up of the Inter ministerial Task Force against illegal mining by the President was yielding positive results.
"The wealth of every nation depends on the environment hence the need for its protection to the benefit of posterity," he said.
According to him government through the inter ministerial committee on illegal mining has provided oversight on a number of activities such as public education for traditional leaders and Small Scale miners who were working before the ban on small scale mining and training of about 3000 small scale miners on sustainable mining and mineral processing practices at University of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa.
In addition to these measures he said "vetting of small scale miners whose licenses were suspended are ongoing which will be completed soon to allow the qualified ones to start operation.
"NABCO pilots and GALAMSTOP operators will be commissioned to start monitoring mining activities to protect river beds. He said more jobs will be created as prospective small scale miners have been grouped for community mining model," he said.
One hundred and forty four (144) drone pilots for District Committees on illegal mining have also been trained to monitor the activities of miners.
He also defended the interim ban on the operation of small scale miners to enable government streamline their activities and put in place mechanism to sanitise their operation.
Government has also established 14 mining courts to deal with cases involving illegal mining or mining related issues whilst proposals on punitive measures have also been sent to the Attorney General for advice with regards to an increase in penalty units from 2400 to 10,000.
He further stated that the Minerals Commission has increased its offices from 12 to 33 with 600 mining guards recruits to expedite action on processing of applications for mining permits and monitoring of mining activities.
More jobs will be created as prospective small scale miners have been grouped for community mining model initiative.
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