Domestic Revenue Mobilisation still a priority
– as petroleum sector emerges
– Dr. Singh
Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh has said Domestic Revenue Mobilisation would remain a priority for Guyana, even as the country emerges as a petroleum economy.
The Minister made this statement during a meeting with senior staff of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Wednesday.
“It will be a grave mistake to believe that when oil revenue starts to flow that Domestic Revenue Mobilisation will take on a lesser importance. In fact, given what will be happening in the country on a whole, the responsibilities of the revenue administration will become considerably greater. Not just in oil and gas, but in all other sectors of the economy,” he said.
The US Agency for International Development lists Domestic Revenue Mobilisation as the “process through which countries raise and spend their own funds to provide for their people, as the long-term path to sustainable development finance.”
Dr. Singh said the Government had emphasised the importance of a “strong, robust and competitive non-oil economy” found in sectors such as Agriculture, Tourism, Services or any other productive sector that may emerge.
President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had said in September that while the petroleum sector has emerged as one of the most important to Guyana’s economy, the Government is focusing on expanding and making the traditional sectors more competitive.
He had said Guyana has been focusing heavily on building the non-oil sector, seeking to make it more competitive with comparative advantages. The President also said the revenues from the oil and gas sector would be invested in the agricultural, construction, tourism, manufacturing, and other sectors to boost competitiveness.
Meanwhile, Dr. Singh said there is a lot of excitement about the transformation coming to Guyana, which has been bolstered by investors’ interest in building hotels and providing other services.
The Minister noted that the rapid modernisation that is about to take place here must correlate with a rapid upgrade in the delivery of Government services.
“So that when people step in off the road and they come in, whether it is to pay their taxes or renew their driver licences; they must experience this modern Guyana in all as they interact with all government agencies.”
Prior to his engagement with the staff, Dr Singh participated in a re-familiarisation tour of the entity. He also introduced the new Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr. Sasenarine Kowlessar.