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Several GRA staff to be re-assigned; Sattaur’s future to be determined

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan greeting staff of the GRA’s Human Resource Division (GRA photo)

by Zena Henry

Several staff members of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) could soon be reassigned to tackle high taxation and that agency might also have a new Commissioner General, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said Monday.

Reflecting on last Friday’s visit to the Camp Street, Georgetown-based  GRA Headquarters, he said he had indicated that the revenue generating agency appeared to have a lot of staff that could be better utilized.

“I thought that staff might be able to be reallocated into areas of high taxation so to speak.” He explained that it was only a small visit to the agency but already he felt that restructuring staff was an area to be looked at; “whether there is the best use of staff in the organisation.”

The Government Information Agency (GINA) quoted the Finance Minister as saying there may be some need for tax reform at the administrative levels, according to the minister because he said that he is worried at the rate in which they remit and the level of remittances, relative to the tax base.

Additionally, with the current Commissioner General of the GRA Khurshid Sattaur having retired his retention would depend on whether his contract is renewed. The name of former Inland Revenue Department senior official Godfrey Statia is being called for a top position at the GRA.

Jordan could not confirm that, saying that nothing official has been indicated to him.

“Tweaking of some of the operations at GRA,” is one of the objectives of the new administration that was voted into office on May 11, 2015, he said.

The Finance Minister noted that GRA has gone through restructuring continuously for the last three or four years under various projects that have been financed by a number of different donors and treasury money. “So they are literally going on continuous reform basically.” He expressed that the agency will continue to run in its current state, “with some strengthening in some areas.”