The Sunday Stabroek (July 20) has published a report, which, in fact, is nothing more than a repetition of its ‘Business Page’ article written by Mr Christopher Ram of July 13 listing a number of Customs Duty and Excise Tax exemptions to be granted to the five companies incorporated under the ownership of Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII), and to which they are fully entitled. These companies are: Global Textiles Inc, Global Printing & Graphics Inc, Healthcare Life Sciences Inc, Global Hardware Inc and Health International Inc.
The article is clearly quite deliberately designed to lead the public to believe that the Guyana Times is one of the beneficiaries of the tax concessions. The article, in fact, states, erroneously, that Global Printing & Graphics Inc are “the publishers of the Guyana Times.”
Consistent with the article’s intention to mislead and misrepresent the facts, the article makes a point of noting that “the Ministry of Finance had said in a statement that no tax concessions were provided for the Guyana Times newspapers which is a QAII subsidiary which recently started up.” The article then goes on to editorialize, inaccurately, that “it is unclear whether that Ministry had recently decided that the concession would not be granted despite a prior intention to do so” and then further misrepresents by stating that “other newspapers which have been importing printing equipment have not benefited from tax concessions,” as though the Guyana Times has received concessions.
In fact the Guyana Times is not published by Global Printing & Graphics Inc and is not one of the five companies registered and incorporated under the ownership of Queens Atlantic Investments Inc.
In fact, absolutely no tax concessions of any kind have been granted to the Guyana Times, including for the web printing press on which the newspaper is printed and including for all supplies imported for the publication of the newspaper.
It is regrettable that the Stabroek News has allowed itself, through careless, unresearched and irresponsible reporting, to become a vehicle for Mr Christopher Ram’s predilection for the misreporting that has become a feature of the ‘Business Page’ when covering the financial affairs of major corporate investors in Guyana who do not favour Mr Ram with their business.
If the editors of the Sunday and daily Stabroek News had taken the trouble to have their reporter and Mr Ram consult with the publisher of the Guyana Times and the Chief Executive Officer of Queens Atlantic Investment Inc, they would not now find themselves in the position of needing to publicly apologise for their continuing misleading and accusatory reports on Queens Atlantic’s ongoing investments in Guyana.
We look forward to receiving that apology.
While the publisher’s name and address are recorded on the editorial page of the newspaper (page 4) as being “Guyana Times Inc… Queens Atlantic Industrial Estate,” as of yesterday there was no indication of who the printer is. Under the Publication and Newspapers Act (Cap 21:01) the name and address of the printer is required to be printed on the last page of the paper, which has not been done.
If it is the case that Global Printing & Graphics Inc prints the Guyana Times and that the first-named company has benefited from tax concessions, then it is difficult to avoid the argument that the newspaper has been a beneficiary of those concessions if only at an indirect level. If it is the case that the printing press imported for Global Printing & Graphics Inc is not the press which prints the Guyana Times, then Mr Sukhlal needs to explain this to the public.