Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge says the records of the ministry do not show any significant number of infringements by remigrants in relation to their concessions either by complaints or action by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the institution which grants the concessions.
“Our records do not suggest that you have had any dramatic infringements, primarily because we at Foreign Affairs in defining remigrants do not go outside the law,” the minister said in a Department of Public Information (DPI) report.
The minister was responding to a recent news item in the Kaieteur News which reported GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia as saying that there have been transgressions by remigrants.
A remigrant is classified any Guyanese living abroad for a period of five years or in the case of a student, four years and wishes to return to Guyana. The person is expected to make the claim for remigrant status within six months of arrival, DPI noted.
“The bigger scale of the problem [lies] with those who are not bonafide remigrants but they may be seeking to facilitate someone else or more worrying they may be seeking to facilitate a business,” Greenidge pointed out.
The GRA, he noted, has the responsibility of informing the remigrants of the stipulations, which states that the vehicle must be 2,000cc or less and be owned by the remigrant seeking the concession.
Many persons, Greenidge noted, wait beyond the stipulated 6-month period to register as a remigrant, “persons come and they may have difficulties proving they’ve been abroad, that is one side, or they come and do not make the claim, they really should make the claim before a long period expires …you find somebody comes back a year, two years or more and then come to be classified as remigrants.”
Greenidge note in 2015 the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance made several recommendations to the Cabinet, including a proposal for this responsibility be transferred from the Foreign Ministry to the Department of Citizenship.