Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016, 18:35 by Denis Chabrol
Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Kurshid Sattaur, who has been fired from the top post at the tax collection agency, Thursday said he now wants to be paid all his benefits after he has been “discarded and ridiculed” seven months ahead of his retirement.
“I am therefore very much relieved that the Board probably sensing my discomfort has compassionately chosen to terminate my services after giving me the necessary notice and most optimistically would be providing me with my hard earned benefits including my pension benefits up to my legal age of retirement on 31st October 2017 among other entitlement that applies to termination such as severance pay and my full leave passage entitlement,” he said in a statement hours after the GRA said he would be fired from March 1, 2016.
In a lengthy statement, Sattaur appeared vexed at the manner in which he has been treated after serving the GRA for decades. “It does concern me that I gave long and dedicated service to my beloved country for which I have received a national award (the CCH), for my outstanding performance and I am now being discarded and attempts are being made to have me ridiculed and publicly embarrassed by the very agency that I gave long and dedicated service,” he said.
Sattaur recalled asking President David Granger to allow him to continue as head of the GRA and he was later informed by letter that such a decision would have been made by the ministers.
The outgoing GRA Commissioner General claimed that contrary to assurances by the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan that he had nothing to be worried about, he subsequently saw certain maneuvers that he would not disclose. “However, within the GRA there were many strange developments that belied or contradicted what was communicated to me by the politicians aforementioned. Professional ethics precludes me from disclosing any of these matters,” he said.
At the same time, he said at the very inception the many public pronouncements made by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo indicated that “it would be uncomfortable for me to continue as the head of the GRA under the new Administration.
Sattaur said he was extremely taken aback by the decision taken by the Board on 2nd December 2015 to send him on leave immediately to pave the way for a forensic audit of the Agency.
He expressed grave concern that the Chairman of GRA’s Board, Rawle Lucas had targeted him, an indication that he would have been fired. He said it was clear that his discomfort was being orchestrated to prevent him from continuing to serve with the “same dedication and sincerity with which I approach my work.” “It is apparent that if I were to resume duties at the end of my leave period I would have been unable to execute my mandate in an effective manner,” he added..
He said he now looks forward to a peaceful retirement and to engage in less strenuous activities that would allow him to enjoy the benefits of hislong and dedicated service to this country.” I am very proud and feel most honoured to have served my country with dedication, commitment and distinction,” he said.