Gov’t rakes in $467M from motor vehicle licences in 2010
Motorists this year are expected to add more than half a billion dollars to the government coffers as they pay their 2011 licence fees to the Guyana Revenue Authority.
Just last week Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, unveiled what is the largest budget that the country has ever seen. During his speech, the Minister revealed that Internal Revenue collections amounted to some $43.3B in 2010.
The revenues from licence fees for motor vehicles amounted to $467M. The budget estimates for 2011 predict almost a $100M increase in those fees with the projections coming in at $566M. Revenues earned on imports told an even more interesting tale. According to the budget estimates, vehicle imports in 2010 allowed the Guyana Revenue Authority to collect over $7.7B in taxes, a $400M increase over the previous year.
The 2011 estimate for revenue earnings on Vehicle Imports shows a similar jump to give a figure of $8B.
Over the last year or two the country has seen a marked increase in the number of private vehicles that have been registered. An increase is shown in the issuance of licence (plate) numbers that are going through the letter series at a prodigious rate. Last year saw a number of changes at the Licence Office. One of these was a requirement that saw motorists in the city as well as those as far as East Bank Essequibo, East and West Bank Demerara and East and West Coast of Demerara having to visit the GRA Smyth Street Office to purchase their licences.
During the year the Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority, Khurshid Sattaur, commented that once the new system that the GRA was implementing was perfected, the Licence Revenue Office would have full control over who gets licences, since the licence itself is linked to the vehicle registered.
“If you are not registered in the system then you cannot get a licence,” Mr. Sattaur had pointed out. As such, he stressed that motor vehicle owners are encouraged to bring the relevant source documents, to get registered, and acquire their licence.
According to Sattaur, the new system was implemented because the old manual system was prone to a huge amount of irregularities due to people being unscrupulous, bringing vehicles across the borders from Brazil and Suriname, changing ownership of vehicles not properly registered, and changing engines, chassis, colours and categories.
There was also talk of a scam which has been occurring over the years. That scam saw unscrupulous persons printing official GRA licences and selling them for small sums.
The Commissioner General noted at the time that the new system would hopefully eradicate these “illegal practices” since it came equipped with several security features making it almost impossible to duplicate the licences.