The re-migrant scheme allows any Guyanese who resided outside of Guyana for more than five years to import certain commodities duty free. But on vehicles, re-migrants are required to pay the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) five percent of the overall value of the vehicle.
Recently, Hardat Singh, owner of HDM Labs, the company that got the controversial $400M contract to delivery emergency drugs, imported a Range Rover Sport under the re-migrant scheme.
However, reports are that Singh has not re-migrated and is often a guest at the Marriott Hotel.
Further, Kaieteur News understands that Singh imported the Range Rover Sport but declared it as a Range Rover Evoque. The Evoque has one Diesel Engine and one Petrol Engine on offer. The Diesel engine is 1.999 litres while the Petrol engine is 1.997 litres.
However, the Sport is 2.993 litres and is a much more expensive vehicle. Therefore, the five percent Singh paid on the vehicle he descaled is much less than what he owed GRA for the Sport.
Under the new rules of the re-migrant scheme, the beneficiary must be in Guyana for 112 days.
If the beneficiary imports a vehicle that is brand new, it must remain in his or her possession for five years. But if the vehicle is used, then it must be in the owner’s possession for no less than three.
Despite the vehement defence that the Ministry of Public Health mounted about its arrangement with HDM Labs, the Audit Office of Guyana still investigated the arrangement and has vowed to “conduct further scrutiny of the awarding and execution of the contract.”
So far, the Audit Office has found that HDM Labs took six months to complete its supply of over $400M worth of “emergency drugs” that was needed within two weeks.
Further, auditors compared the prices charged by HDM Labs to the prices charged by other suppliers.
A table presented in the 2017 audit report noted that the drugs could have been sourced for at least $100M less.
Audit Office said, “We compared the prices quoted for each item by the approved tenderer with that quoted by the initial three tenders to determine whether there was due diligence with regard to economy in awarding the contract.
It was determined in nine instances that the prices quoted by HDM Labs were significantly higher than that of the initial three suppliers.”
Audit Office said that the “contract which was awarded on August 31, 2017 by NPTAB in the sum of US$1,891,443 or Guyana dollar equivalent of $409.497M, was signed on 8 September 2017”. There were several “unsatisfactory features” noted during the examination of the documents.
Auditors noted that “the supplier was required to supply the drugs two weeks after signing the contract; all items should have been delivered no later than 22 September 2017. At that date, no items were delivered. Delivery commenced in October 2017.
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