Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:57 AM
Dec 03, 2016 News
…”or we going to get busy” – Trotman asks
With several changes being proposed to the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime in the 2017 National
Budget, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, has said that Guyanese have a choice to make; either to see the glass half empty or to see it half full.
“What are we going to do? Complain about the VAT on water, or on electricity and do nothing else? Or complain about VAT on water and electricity and get busy?”
The Minister was delivering his Feature Address at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)’s Annual Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Thursday evening at the Marriott Hotel Kingston, Georgetown.
The Minister’s comment came days after the 2017 National Budget was presented in the National Assembly by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan. In it Jordan proposed plans to reduce the 16% VAT to 14% as well as to apply it to monthly electricity and water bills exceeding $10,000 and $1,500 respectively.
Jordan also proposed to increase the VAT threshold from $10 million to $15 million, as well as to expand the list of exempt items and eliminate all zero-rated items, with the exception of those pertaining to exports and manufacturing inputs.
Since then, there has been much public discourse with strong comments coming from several Private Sector representative organisations; and individuals, many of whom would have taken to Social Media to air their concerns.
“We can look at the glass being half empty and forget that VAT has been lowered by two percent and that corporate taxes have been lowered; or we can complain.”
The Natural Resources Minister said that while the Government preferred that “we all live in a country where there are no complaints” it can never be the case. Trotman reiterated the call for everyone to “get busy” and advised that citizens “look beyond the horizon”
“There is an old Indian proverb that goes: I have no shoes and complained until I met a man that had no feet. We have always been a resilient people; we have always been an innovative people; we have always been a people of strong faith and believe and the change of Government or whatever cannot change who we are as Guyanese.”
The Minister added that greatness is embedded in all Guyanese and as a people they can do better and will do better. He urged that Guyanese be brave for the tsunami of opportunity that is headed this way. He was referring to the emerging Oil and Gas Sector.
He stated that ExxonMobil is expected to bring online several initiatives that will allow Guyanese to benefit.
“Those who move to higher ground by lifting their eyes and attitudes will not only survive, but strive. Unfortunately, those who wish to remain welded to the same spot where they have been standing for the past 50 years and expect some politician or some government to do better will drown in what is coming while others flood our shores and seize the initiative.”
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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