NAIROBI, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kenya is planning to remove taxes on imports of raw minerals in order to develop the mineral processing industry, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Minister of Mining, Dan Kazungu, told a media briefing in Nairobi the move will help enable Kenya to become a regional mineral processing hub.
"Kenya is losing a lot of opportunities by imposing taxes on imports of raw minerals as mineral traders prefer to process their minerals in other countries," Kazungu said.
He said that the current mineral fiscal regime imposes hurdles on the growth of the sector.
According to the government data, the mineral sector grew by 14.7 percent last year.
"We want the sector to expand by even larger percentage so that it becomes the largest source of foreign exchange in the country in the next few years," Kazungu said.
Kazungu said the removal of taxes will also curb illicit trade in minerals in the country.
"Due to the tax regime, we have a black market in the trade in minerals which denies the country revenue which could be used to develop the country," he added. Enditem