…believes Mayor’s statement politically motivated
Proprietor of the Giftland Mall, Roy Beepat has debunked statements by City Mayor, Ubraj Narine, that his mall establishment owes the council millions of dollars in taxes.
In fact, Beepat believes the sentiments expressed by the Mayor may be politically motivated.
According to Beepat, it appears that in the last three months, both the Giftland Mall and himself have moved from being entrepreneur extraordinaire to a delinquent puppet of the Opposition, a greedy and corrupt entity and a bankrupt and tax delinquent company.
“What has happened in the last three months is that we have taken a stand, along with the OAS, APC, ABC&E, Commonwealth, CARICOM plus other International , local organizations and individuals, in calling for a transparent and free elections and proper counting of the votes, that my friends is the only thing that has changed,” he said in a statement.
The mayor claimed, a report carried in the Guyana Chronicle, that the Giftland Mall which Beepat owns owes the city over $103M in rates and taxes.
Narine, an open supporter of the incumbent Coalition, was quoted as saying: “What I want to point out to the public is this lawlessness that business owners want to continue with. And I saw many posts and articles from Mr. Beepat. What I want to say to him is when you speak; you must speak from a point of view where you’re clean. You cannot speak when you have dirt on yourself. All the sublets in malls in the city have
to come to the council to get their licence [sic] to operate. Giftland Mall breached all of that,” Ubraj said.
However, Beepat insisted that Giftland had made every effort to be compliant with its taxes and have been actively pursuing City Hall for the last five years to address the matter.
According to Beepat, in an effort to have this amicable settled, several letters have been sent with no response on the discussions held.
“We have been led down the garden path by Royston King (former Town Clerk) who had negotiated a settlement but in three years despite our many attempts to have this drawn into a binding written contract, this was never done by the city side. The Mayor has conveniently neglected to point this out.
We sat with the Mayor, this year in our offices and made agreements to have this resolved, after weeks of prompting, to our surprise we eventually received a written correspondence not in line with our discussions… against the agreement made to keep this year current taxes paid were applied against the illegally imposed interest figures,” he said.
According to the businessman, the Mayor was intent on receiving interest at 21% which is unlawful, with a penalty of approximately $43 Million dollars.
He said that this is despite being told that the Mall had paid close to $500 million on public works, which included the public access road to the mall, street lighting, bus shed and public transportation, walkways and irrigation.
“This Mayor was also told that up to the time of writing, the mall had not received the benefit of one day of service from the city services… we have installed our own sewerage treatment plant and we clean the roads and public areas. We have laid in our own piping for water supplies, and many other duties which taxes are paid for, but which has been borne by us. I repeat… the city has not provided… not one day of service… whatsoever… has no consideration for the hundreds of millions which has been spent on their behalf… they have refused to provide even basic garbage collection for taxes which they are demanding…”
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