Nov 12, 2008 News
…as North American arm calls for abolition of VAT
Organising and re-tooling the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) to win the next elections and to be more effective in and out of Government were among the immediate challenges facing the PNCR that were highlighted to the PNCR-North American Region (NAR) by Party Leader, Robert Corbin, during his feature address declaring open the 2nd Conference of the NAR in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday last.
The Annual Conference of the NAR was held at the Lady of Grace School in Toronto, Canada, under the theme, ‘Progress Through Unity and Action’. It was attended by delegates representing NAR-PNCR groups across Canada and the United States.
In his address themed ‘Guyana and the PNCR: Responding Positively to the Challenges,’ the Opposition Leader outlined several challenges, which the Party and Guyana must successfully confront in the context of the present global and domestic situation.
These included, Restoring Good Governance; Empowering PNCR supporters to cope with the economic and social conditions in Guyana; retooling the party to effectively discharge its responsibilities and successfully achieve its mission; making the party fit for governance; governance for progress and harmonious development of Guyana; and, determining strategy to achieve governance.
He emphasized the need of restructuring the Party to effectively discharge a national outreach programme; to win the understanding and support of the people of Guyana ; and imbuing the Party with the capacity for good governance and effective and competent public administration.
The Party Leader also touched on strategy for progress and harmonious development in Guyana, both in the short and long term and the role that the NAR and Guyanese in the Diaspora could play in fostering, facilitating and promoting national unity and national economic and social progress in Guyana.
The Conference was co-chaired by Rachael Exeter of the Ottawa Group, Canada and Michael Campbell of the New Jersey Group, U.S.A.
Chairman of the NAR, Col. Larry London (Ret’d), in his opening address to the Conference, traced the successful contributions of groups to the Party and Guyana since its inauguration in New York in July 2005. He reminded the delegates of the magnitude of the task ahead and urged them to remain focused until the objectives were achieved. The detailed report of the activities of NAR was later presented by acting Secretary, Mr. Terrence Simon.
Stimulating discussions followed the many presentations and several motions and resolutions were adopted.
One such resolution called upon the Government of Guyana to abolish the Value Added Tax, (VAT,) since the stated objective of introducing a revenue neutral tax was not achieved.
The delegates opined that the VAT was used as an excuse to place unbearable burdens on the people of Guyana.
Consequently, the motion urged the abolition of the tax as well as a complete review and reform of the tax system, the objective being, to relieve the burdens on the ordinary people and stimulate investment in Guyana.
During the conference, Corbin presented special appreciation awards from the PNCR, to two Guyanese in the Diaspora.
Bishop Joseph Fisher was presented with an award for his continuous contribution to the PNCR over the years and, more particularly, for his work in promoting the empowerment of disadvantaged youth in the Toronto area.
Morris Wilson, a businessman from New York, was recognised for his support for the objectives of empowering Youth in Guyana and, more particularly, for having the courage to invest in Guyana in the area of Buxton at a time when very few businesspersons were prepared to do so.
After the elections, Returning Officer, Ms. June Veecock declared Ms. Dawn Simmons of the Atlanta Group as the newly elected Chairperson, replacing retired Col. Larry London who did not seek re-election.
The new Vice Chairman is Michael Campbell (New Jersey); Secretary Terrence Simon, (New York); Treasurer Beni Rayman (Toronto), Committee Members Errol Lewis (New York), Valda Forsythe (Washington DC), Beryl James (New York) and Central Executive Representative Lawrence London (Florida).
Each group will also be entitled to name one representative to serve on the Executive.
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