Vehicle ban “unnecessary” – PSC calls for review of some Budget policies

Last Updated on Wednesday, 3 February 2016, 8:40 by Writer

While the Private Sector Commission (PSC) says it is pleased with Budget 2016, it has some grievances that it would like to be addressed.

Among those is the proposed ban on the importation of vehicles older than 8 years to Guyana.

PSC in a release on Wednesday stated that the ban on vehicle importation has some serious connotations.

"the introduction of bans has a negative connotation and seems unnecessary at this time and should be seriously reviewed and reconsidered," a release stared.

It was also pointed out that this is likely to place undue pressure on low and middle income persons.

Also of  concern to the Commission is the planned early implementation of the requirement to provide compliance certificates in order to obtain licences but there needs to be some clarification of the impact of this. 

"We feel that this measure, while being a good way to ensure compliance, should have been implemented at least a year after the date of its announcement to give persons time to get their taxes in order," the statement noted.

It was posited that the capacity of the Guyana Revenue Authority is paramount to the smooth implementation of this measure.

The commission does not believe that the agency is currently capable of handling the expected thousands of persons who will be seeking in a short time to regularize their status as taxpayers.

The PSC further stated that it is disappointed that there has been no comprehensive review of corporate and PAYE taxes.

"The increase in the tax threshold is welcomed though we feel that this should have been higher to provide relief to low income earners," it stated.

The Commission is also pleased that there was no reduction in the rate of the Value Added Tax (VAT).

"The increases in gun licence fees are also fair and will boost government revenue but we are concerned about the impact on indigenous people who rely on shotguns for their livelihood."

The PSC believes that Budget 2016 will generate growth and is happy about the planned expenditure on infrastructure, in particular the $2B that will be spent on hinterland airstrips.

"The significant sums allocated for education, health, public security and agriculture reveal that the focus of the government is on what is needed by the country and for the good of the people."

While being generally satisfied with Budget 2016, the Commission is urging government to ensure that all the provisions of the budget are implemented and the allocated sums are spent since approximately 60% of the economy relies on government spending. 

"Also crucial to a vibrant economy is investor confidence.  Too many investors have been adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude and we feel that this budget will restore that confidence and stimulate investment," the release noted.