…Calls on Government to address high taxes, crime and unemployment
The performance of the government came under serious scrutiny on Friday when the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) held its 10th Anniversary Dinner and fourth Bi-Annual Awards ceremony at the Chamber’s new $35M office at Williamsburg, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne.
President of CCCC, Mr. Tajpaul Adjodhea, blasted the government on its stewardship and ineptitude when it comes to serious matters that affect a number of Guyanese.
He touched on high taxes, unemployment and crime which he feels that the government has failed miserably to address.
Adjodhea stated that while the chamber is not a political organisation it has the right to make representation on certain issues. Being a representative of the business community, statements that it makes must not be seen as political.
Giving a philosophical overview of what a chamber is expected to do, he said, “One of the objectives of the chamber is to make representation to Government on matters of industrial and commercial development, and to pursue the impact of psychical and economic policies as they impact on development of the community.”
He said the Chamber has a right to make representation.
He said that the country is being overtaxed. President Donald Ramotar came to Berbice three years ago and promised a reform of the tax system.
He even went as far as appointing a three-man tribunal, but three years has gone and there is no tax reform.
“We have been so complacent that the matter has just slid off the table.”
Adjodhea said that only recently the Private Sector Commission made a statement on tax on gasoline.
He said that what is happening to Guyanese in connection with the tax on fuel is an eye pass. “In the USA people pay US$3 per gallon. We pay in excess of US$5 a gallon. If there was any tax reform there could have been no justification that an important commodity like gasoline that impacts on every facet of the community—transportation, manufacturing—will attract an unbelievable tax of 40 percent and yet nothing is done.”
Touching on crime, Adjodhea said, it is a worrying aspect of Guyanese lives.
Recently it was said that there was a drop in crime, but the rate for armed robberies, rape and murder has gone up significantly.
“The business community must be concerned. It is not a matter of when it will happen, but who will be targeted next. Every single day you look into the newspapers, businesses are being robbed; businessmen are being murdered.” “When we engaged the Commander ten years ago he told us that they have manpower issues, they don’t have enough people in the police force to police the community that they have issued with gear and equipment and vehicles. “Ten years down the road the Commissioner and Commander tell you the same thing. Where is the plan to fight crime?”
There is none, he concluded.
“We are at the mercy of criminals. Years ago we use to hear about hijacking on sea, now we have hijacking on the roads and in our homes.
“We talking about tourist, but when the tourists and foreigners come they are trailed from the airport and robbed as soon as they get home.”
“The police never seem to be able to find the bandits and whenever they find them they can’t prosecute them, because they have Corporals prosecuting against the brightest criminal lawyers in the country.”
Commenting on employment, Adjodhea said that it begs the question as to why the Police Force and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) office cannot attract the best minds from secondary school and university to work with these organizations.
The country is swamped with lawyers who would have graduation yearly, but yet the government and DPP cannot attract some of these lawyers to prosecute cases.
“Something is definitely wrong, persons prefer to migrate. It is time to revise policies.”
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