VAT on exports reversed, over 100 licence fees reduced

The Value-Added Tax (Amendment) Bill and several others passed in the National Assembly on Monday will bring financial relief to Guyanese in keeping with the PPP/C Government Manifesto promise.

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Juan Edghill said the Government intends to bring about change by providing immediate support and stimulus for the manufacturing and export sectors.

“On this particular initiative I can say we offer no apology for stimulating the Private Sector because the jobs that we are talking about; we have to be able to see the Private Sector grow so that our young people could [have] real jobs, where people are earning significant sums and manufacturing presents such opportunity,” Minister Edghill said.

The amendment to the VAT Act also removes water and electricity from the schedule of items attracting the tax. The APNU/AFC government had added the utilities to the schedule in 2016.  

Further, the passage of the Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020 will see the reversal of over 100 licence fees by 50 per cent of whatever sum they were increased by the APNU/AFC government. This will see the reduction of licence fees for persons operating a range of businesses including those selling aerated drinks and mineral water; the operation of video rental stores and insurance companies.  The trade, druggist, butcher shop, and pawnbrokers will also see their licence fees reduced.

“We are not a Government that sees people prospering and think we have to get more taxes from them. We see people prospering and we create an environment for them to be able to prosper more, employ more people, so we are taking the necessary step,” Minister Edghill said.

The Motor Vehicles and Road traffic Amendment Bill 2020 was also passed. This provides exemption from the requirement to register and pay licence fees for excavators, bulldozers and other vehicles used in the mining industry.

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn, who presented the Bill, said the amendment made by the previous administration hindered the growth of medium and small miners.

“The removal or the exemption of this requirement will remove a great burden in respect of the licence fees, the running around, the harassment, jumping hurdles and doing the limbo in respect of getting work done in the interior of our country in relation to our miners and operators,” he said.

Additionally, the Miscellaneous Licences Amendment Bill 2020 was also passed. The passage of the Bill sees the amendment of Section Six of the Act, which will see the reduction of the cost to replace a lost licence from $1500 to $850.