Jul 08, 2016 News
Manufacturers said that they are preparing to lobby the Government to lead the process to call on Government to reverse the shutdown of tax-free importation of inputs for the sector.
Yesterday, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), led by its President, Eon Caesar, met with concerned members of the body, as well as representatives from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the issue.
The meeting took place at the GMSA headquarters, Waterloo Street, to address the call for the suspension of previously unimplemented import duties.
The manufacturers are contending that for years they have been able to import raw materials with import taxes not being applied. In essence, the application of the import taxes which were never applied until a few months ago will make goods manufactured here more expensive and uncompetitive.
Addressing the meeting, President Caesar indicated that in fulfilling the mandate of the GMSA which advocates for the protection of all its members, he is prepared to work closely with all relevant stakeholders including the GRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find a solution.
He explained that there are concerns regarding the implementation of the import taxes as well as the revision of the list of raw materials which are ineligible for tax exemptions under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
“It is important to note that this list has been in existence for over 40 years,” GMSA said in a release of the meeting.
“The GMSA members are concerned about the significant consequences which will be faced by manufacturers and their customers should these import taxes be imposed,” Caesar said.
“It is imperative that manufacturers, and more importantly the purchasers of products, be cognizant of the fact that this requirement would result in higher prices for products and services. This decision has a direct impact on the ‘end users’ as products and services which they normally utilize would become more expensive.”
The official said that another impact will be that, while local manufacturers would be required to pay more for raw materials and as a consequence, increase the costs for their products, foreign competitors can continue to charge current rates for their products.
“This is a significant issue for the local manufacturing sector as foreign competitors would be able to offer products at cheaper prices creating an uneven playing field.”
The GMSA President indicated that the association has engaged the services of the GRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to commence the process of applying for a suspension of the import taxes.
‘The GMSA is prepared to lead the process for a speedy resolution to the suspension of the import taxes as this situation can have dire consequences for Guyana’s manufacturing, business and economic sectors,” Caesar urged.
“While this is our short term approach, the GMSA is prepared to engage with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade Department, to achieve the long-term goal of reclassifying items ineligible for import tax exemptions under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.”
Caesar said that the fact that both entities had representatives at the gathering spoke volumes about the beneficial relationship with the GMSA.
“I wish to applaud the work of the GRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in providing a wealth of support to the association on this matter. We will continue to work closely with both entities for a speedy resolution.”
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