Earlier this week, I visited two government offices to transact business – the Mayor and City Councillors of Georgetown (M&CC) and Commercial Registry. To say I was taken aback by the archaic procedures would be an understatement.
Starting with M&CC where I went to pay Rates and Taxes. After standing in line for close to an hour, I was finally attended by a cashier. As I was paying by cheque, I was given a temporary handwritten receipt and told to return in a week for the official receipt.
Editor, this policy shows great disrespect for my time and travel costs. How can the country develop with such outdated, 19th-century procedures?
I then walked over to the Registry only to find it closed – between 11:30am and 1pm – for lunch. Surely, it’s not rocket science to rotate staff so that coverage is available during working hours. The Registry’s working hours appear to be 8:30am to 3:30pm with one and a half hours for lunch or a total of five and a half hours of work per day.
My company subsequently needed to obtain National Insurance Scheme (NIS) compliance for the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest). A visit to the NIS office resulted in a representative being sent away with a form to fill-out and copies of payments to accompany the returned form.
Editor, NIS contributions are computerized and all this information can easily be obtained by simply checking the company’s account.
But it doesn’t stop there. The company representative was again sent away to provide a written explanation why the company was registered under the Companies Act in 2013 but only started NIS contributions in 2015.
A verbal explanation was not accepted, although the question was asked and answered in 2015 when it registered for NIS.
The inefficiency continues and it is discouraging to businesses. It would come at a time when we are attempting to ease the hardships of starting a business in Guyana. I experience this as a local.
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