GECAMINES, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) state-owned base metals company, rejected criticism it ought to pay tax advances to the country’s tax authorities, saying it paid $263m in advances over a five-year period to the treasury.
Gecamines told the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative that it paid $109m between 2009-2014 to the Treasury, while a report last year mentioned an amount of $372m, according Bloomberg News which cited a coalition of non-governmental organizations, Cogep.
Cogep is among several non-governmental organizations that say the tax advances should be paid to tax authorities, and not directly to the central bank, as is currently the case.
Gecamines dismissed the group’s criticism in a 15-page report on its Twitter account, saying it didn’t need to declare $263m in advance taxes it had paid to the state over the period to the EITI, and its books were in order, said Bloomberg News. The EITI promotes good governance in the mining industry.
In addition, Gecamines is undergoing an “organisational overhaul” by simplifying its procedures, attracting younger employees and completing a new investment program that’s resulted in a production capacity of 40,000 tons of copper since March, it said in its report.