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29.07.2005 Regional News

Allow us to buy from small-scale miners-Goldsmiths

GNA

Kumasi, July 29, GNA - The Federation of Ghanaian Jewellers has called for a review of the law that restricts goldsmiths to buying raw gold only from the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), the Company established by the government. They are demanding that they are allowed to buy the mineral directly from small-scale miners and gold dealers since the PMMC by its present operations is competing with them in jewellery making and marketing.

Mr Kwame Donkor, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Federation, said this has become necessary to save their businesses from collapse as they are finding it increasing difficult to obtain the raw material for production. He was addressing a press conference held in Kumasi to draw attention to problems faced by operators in the industry. Mr Donkor said to help make the jewellery industry in Ghana more vibrant and competitive on the international market, it was important the government set up National Jewellery Council.

The Council should be charged with the responsibility of formulating a national policy with regard to quality standards, licensing, training, and marketing development among other things. Mr Donkor also suggested the establishment by the government of a Light Engineering Unit that would produce simple tools and equipment to assist improve the quality of the local jewellery. He said by so doing, they would be able to add value to their products.

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