GRA slates Brian Tiwarie

-says BK group still to settle 349 outstanding transactions

The Guyana Revenue Autho-rity (GRA) yesterday flayed Managing Director of BK International Inc. Brian Tiwarie over the company’s non-compliance with the normal procedures, saying that he has not been perfecting the documents for the goods released, despite several reminders to the various companies owned by him.

The revenue authority in a press release was responding to claims made by Tiwarie in news articles published in Stabroek News and Guyana Times on Tuesday in which he was responding to  criticisms made by a European Union representative and indicated that considerable delays in obtaining duty-free concessions contributed to the delay in the commencement of an EU-funded sea defence project.

Brian Tiwarie

The GRA stated that it has always been facilitating and expediting the clearance of goods imported by BK International Inc., through the Prior to Processing (PTP) facility, while noting that the company has several contracts with the Government of Guyana to complete various road and sea defence projects.

This facility is used to clear time sensitive commodities and allows for the shipment to be released before the payment of duties and taxes, if any, and the processing of the relevant documentation, the GRA explained. Persons or companies who access this facility are usually given a time frame within which to perfect their documents.

However, according to the GRA, BK International Inc. has not been complying with the normal procedures and has not been perfecting the documents for the goods released, despite sending several reminders to the various companies owned by Tiwarie.

And backing its charge, the GRA said that  BK International Inc. and other entities (BK Quarries Inc., Linden Quarries and BK Marine) owned by Tiwarie have  “approximately 349 outstanding prior to processing documents.”

The incompletion of the unperfected documents has by extension resulted in delays in the completion of aircraft and ship files at the Customs & Trade Admin-istration, the agency stated.

It also noted that on December 8, 2011, Tiwarie applied for the release of goods through the prior to processing facility and was denied based on his companies’ failure to perfect the outstanding documents. And this was communicated to him in a written response dated December 12, 2011, GRA added.

Khurshid Sattaur

Notwithstanding this, the agency said it committed to Tiwarie that it was willing to revert to expediting the processing of the goods through the normal process which includes the issuance of tax exemption letters and the processing of documents through the Customs & Trade Administration.

Tiwarie was also assured, GRA said, that the complete process would take no longer than five working days but to date he has not utilized this option.

In the meantime, addressing the issue, Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur is quoted as saying that, “Mr Tiwarie seems reluctant to follow the laws, policies and procedures administered as outlined by the GRA and we cannot continue to facilitate his companies by releasing goods prior to processing of documents unless he complies.”

Further, the GRA boss noted that Tiwarie’s comments “are unfounded and malicious since most of the goods have been released through the prior to processing facility and GRA has committed to expediting the clearance of future goods through the normal process, within five working days.”

Meanwhile, the GRA is urging companies which have not perfected outstanding prior to processing documents to do so in a timely manner to ensure compliance with the tax laws of Guyana and to ensure the speedy clearance of imported goods, the release concluded.

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