PARAMARIBO, Suriname, CMC — Sex workers who operate in Suriname’s mining fields will now have to pay taxes, according to the chairman of the Committee Structuring Gold sector, Gerold Dompig.
“That’s nothing new under the sun. Whoever collects pay for a service has to pay taxes. It’s a matter of law,” he said.
A registration campaign of all sex workers in the gold fields has already started and the women involved in the trade are being urged to register voluntarily.
“We register everybody who works in these areas,” Dompig said.
Following a series of fatal incidents in the gold mining district, the Desi Bouterse government last year started registering all goldminers, companies and equipment operating within the area.
Unofficial estimates put the number of people working in the gold districts as high as 20,000 and officials said the figure does not include the sex workers, cooks and shop owners.
The registration is also seen as a means of ensuring that taxes are paid to the government after the authorities complained that of the one billion dollars in revenue from the sector in 2009, the government only received US$50,000 in taxes.
“Government cannot afford not to bring structure and control to the small gold mining industry, in order for its proceeds to benefit the country’s economy,” according to newspaper editorials published last January.
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