Jun 09, 2017 News
By Kiana Wilburg
From the year 2010, just about 2600 heavy duty machines were imported. But of this amount, only a paltry sum of 319 was registered with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
This state of affairs was explained by GRA Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia yesterday. He told media operatives that the authority has been going through its records to see what concessions were granted on heavy duty equipment.
Statia said, “From 2010 and more so from 2012, just about 2600 heavy duty equipment was imported, but GRA only has 319 of those are registered. It means that about 2300 are outside there, somewhere. Out of that 2300, about 1200 were granted exemptions and 1000 were not granted exemptions. But out of the 1200 that were granted exemptions, they were moved to sectors that were not granted exemptions.”
In this regard, he explained that some persons received exemptions for heavy duty equipment to be used in the Agriculture industry. He said that the industry is one which would be granted exemptions.
“A person buys it for agriculture and sells it the next day to miners, and so he takes a windfall. But if these things were registered we would know, and that is why we want them all registered. We were doing some calculations and we are losing close to $3 to $5B on it.”
It is for the aforementioned reason that the GRA boss stressed that the area is one which has to be monitored and regulated.
Furthermore, the Guyana Revenue Authority recently commenced an exercise geared towards ensuring the registration of all heavy duty vehicles and equipment that were imported and are in use.
The revenue-collecting body made this known in an advertisement that was published in the Kaieteur News.
The Authority outlined in the ad that these heavy duty equipment and vehicles include backhoes, bulldozers, combines, compactors and cranes.
GRA stressed that owners of these heavy duty vehicles and equipment are required to present a motor vehicle registration form and the relevant import documents and Bill of Sale to the Licence Revenue Office, on Camp Street, Georgetown, to facilitate the registration process and thereafter have the vehicles/equipment examined.
The Authority said that it will have strategic points to facilitate examination of vehicles/equipment in the interior as well as in regional locations.
The exercise is one which comes in wake of the GRA uncovering the racket regarding heavy duty machinery, worth billions of dollars.
Kaieteur News understands that for years, there were excavators and other heavy duty machinery and equipment which were not being registered.
Statia had explained, “Registration means you have title, and if you have title it means you can then transfer the title. What happened is that these guys were doing the transfers by way of Bill of Sale or by way of what you would say Power of Attorney and that is one of the ways in which they have been beating it.
“It is not only with the heavy duty, but even with many other vehicles. Heavy duty has just been on the forefront for us…so when these excavators go into the interior, if they are not registered then they cannot be traced.”
The GRA Commissioner stated, “Additionally, some of the equipment that was free of duty based on these tax exemptions should not really have been granted, simply because they were not registered, and they could move from one industry to the next…That is a billion-dollar scam that we have come upon.”
Statia said that he has spoken with his staff to make efforts to ensure that there is the registration of all excavators and heavy duty machinery, regardless of the industry it is part of, so as to bring an end to “the present lawlessness.”
Kaieteur News understands that heavy duty equipment and machinery are utilized by most sectors in Guyana. The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority is one of the biggest utilizers of such equipment and machinery along with the mining sector.
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