By Grace Wekesa
A new law that will regulate and streamline mining industry is awaiting discussion in Parliament, a Government geologist has said.
Western provincial geologist Evans Masacha said the law will also target private companies that evade paying tax.
Masacha explained that under the law, nobody will be allowed to extract minerals without a licence, official office address and information about business income.
He added those in the business will also ensure their operations do not damage environment or endanger lives of people.
He said the ministry has drafted a Bill and presented it to Parliament for discussions.
Masacha was speaking in Hamisi District, Vihiga County during a workshop for small-scale gold prospectors. “The ministry has forwarded the Bill to Parliament and if passed, the mining sector will be safeguarded,” said Masacha.
He noted that for a long time, the mining sector has operated under old laws that have created loopholes for private companies and individuals to make billions of shillings without paying taxes.
Masacha urged miners to abide by the law. “I urge all small-scale miners to adhere to the new law so that we can be able to carry out our duties smoothly in mining industry,” urged Masacha. He asked people interested in extracting minerals in the region to open offices and ensure they operate in areas they have been licensed.