Small miners get Sh7.2bn in subsidies

Source: THE CITIZEN

Dodoma. The government provided Sh7.2 billion as subsidy to small scale miners, service providers and mineral dealers in 2015/16, Parliament heard yesterday.

But only a few artisans received the government subvention because the majority could not meet the set criteria.

This was revealed by Energy and Minerals deputy minister, Dr Medard Kalemani, during the question and answer session.

However, he noted that the government would continue educating small-scale miners to acquire the necessary qualifications for state funding.

He said: “Those who did not qualify have been given letters explaining why they were not successful. They will be allowed to apply for another round and it is our hope that by then they would have worked on their shortcomings.”

According to the Energy and Minerals minister, Pof Sospeter Muhongo, in the last round, some small-scale miners got up to Sh200 million in subsidies. The amount would keep on increasing as government finances improved.

Dr Kalemani also said plans were in place to build a tanzanite centre in Arusha. He said the facility would be built through collaboration between government and the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC).

The centre would have all the infrastructure needed to facilitate tanzanite business aimed at ensuring that gem dealers disposed their stones in lucrative markets without the fear of being conned or robbed.

 

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