Trawler owners and seafood operators have continued to benefit from 2005 agreement with gov’t

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Revenue Authority wishes to respond to a letter published in the June 6, 2018 edition of the Kaieteur Newspaper, titled `We can’t continue governing with our heads buried in the sand like this’ written by Tony Vieira, as well as allegations in a Demerara Waves article alleging that ‘higher taxation’ was a reason for the closure of BEV Enterprises, a fishing company owned by Bruce Vieira.

Contrary to Mr. Tony Vieira’s claim, the Guyana Association of Trawler Owners and Seafood Operators continues to reap significant benefits since 2005 as per the agreement which was signed between the Association and the Government of Guyana.

BEV Enterprises has also refuted the allegation that ‘higher taxation’ is among the factors responsible for the closure of his company. He was quoted as saying “There is no burden. We have very generous taxation arrangements with the government – duty free, tax free- we get export allowances of 75 percent directly.”

In a subsequent letter to Kaieteur News, appearing in the June 7, 2018 online edition, Tony Vieira tried to retract his statement, noting that when he wrote the letter he “honestly believed that the government did not grant the request to continue giving the fuel” but that “they were hemming and hawing about it for months.”

It should be noted that GRA’s policy is to ensure that persons granted concessions act in accordance with the terms and conditions under which the tax exemptions were granted. As far as the GRA is aware, BEV Enterprises were utilizing its concessions as per the agreement.

Whilst recognizing the rights of persons to pen letters voicing their opinions, the Authority hopes that opinions shared involving matters of taxation will be firmly grounded in facts and not hearsay.

Yours faithfully,

Melissa Baird

Manager

Public Relations Unit

Guyana Revenue Authority

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