Statistics by the Ministry of Finance show that at mid-year, there was a significant decline in concessions granted to public officials when compared to the previous period last year.
At the end of June 30, 2017, duty free concessions worth $701,684,000 were given out. But for 2018, only $674,097,000 in concessions were granted. What was responsible for this notable decline? According to officials at the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), a huge racket involving the abuse of access to duty free concessions by public officials was finally busted.
On Friday, a senior GRA official explained, “Public officials would normally get duty free concessions for vehicles. They would get it for three or five years depending on whether it is a new vehicle or whether it is more than four years old. When these applications have to be renewed, you would see a fluctuation in the data the Ministry of Finance publishes. But this time, it is not about renewals.”
The official added, “We have uncovered a racket where hundreds of public servants are actually abusing their duty free concessions. They get the vehicle and either give it promptly to someone else or just sell it. Some of these public servants were even putting these vehicles up for sale on Facebook. That is how sickening this thing is.”
GRA’s Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia was contacted on the matter yesterday. He confirmed that the authority has been able to unearth the scheme that was taking place and even seize a few of the vehicles involved.
Statia said that the authority is in the process of identifying all of the public officials involved. He declined to comment further on the matter. (Kiana Wilburg)
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