Small contractors will now be given Temporary National Insurance Scheme and Income Tax compliance certificates, removing a major stumbling block to them bidding for projects and programmes.
“Mr. Speaker, currently bidders for contracts are required to have valid Income Tax and NIS compliance certificates. This has especially hampered small contractors from participating in the procurement process. While these requirements will remain, we propose to make it easier for potential bidders to access these documents,” he said.
Finance Minister, Winston Jordan said prospective bidders will be given a one-off, three month, temporary certificate, regardless of their status with the Guyana Revenue Authority and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
During the three months, he said, they would be expected to make the necessary arrangements to become compliant. Each certificate will cost $1,000.
The standard Income Tax and NIS Compliance Certificates will be valid for one year and will be issued to individuals and companies that are in good standing with these agencies. Each certificate will cost $2,500.
Meanwhile, importers with a clean track record will be granted Trusted Trader Compliance Certificates at GYD$10,000 each to ” contribute to the ease of doing business and facilitate private sector growth.” “These will be valid for three years and will be issued to companies that have a demonstrated track record of compliance. Each certificate will cost $10,000,” he said.
The Finance Minister explained that applicants to the programme will be awarded periodic certifications, if they are able to demonstrate regular compliance and adherence to the rules and procedures of GRA’s customs and excise facilities. “A certified trusted trader will be able to benefit from faster clearing of containers on the wharves and improved lead and lag times associated with the clearing of goods,” he said.
Jordan added that after the goods have been cleared, the GRA would take the necessary steps to verify accuracy and authenticity of declarations, thereby moving from a transaction-based control environment to a stronger risk-based audit administration.
He meanwhile announced that to facilitate both import and export scanning activities and also to meet international trade guidelines, the Government has taken steps to procure a fixed scanner, to bolster the capacity of the Authority.