Finance Minister targets private sector over its bombarding of Gov’t for concessions
The Private sector today came in for a “licking” from Finance Minister, Winston Jordan over its numerous requests for concessions without any plan of how this will trickle down to the ordinary consumers.
According to Jordan concessions are sticky “once you give them it is difficult to take it back,” noting that earlier in the year he told the private sector “don’t come to me for concessions.”
The Finance Minister made it clear that his belief is working towards reducing the taxes rather than awarding concessions, since these have a number of interests attached in favour of those making the requests.
He noted too that this is not a “numbers game”rather serious business, hence his commitment to a uniformly applied tax code. Jordan said many of the requested concessions already exist and were put in place by the previous regime.
Jordan said there is need for a new breed of private sector, those that put “their money where their mouth is.”
None of these requests, Jordan noted is accompanied by a comprehensive analysis and therefore he questioned, why should these concessions be given. He questioned too what is wrong with the local private sector and why they continue to bombard the Government over the business climate when Guyana was recently hailed as a place to do business.
He reiterated the call for a paradigm shift in the way the Government and private sector collaborate, pointing out that this partnership cannot be one way.
As it relates to Budget consultations the Finance Minister clarified that the private sector along with other organizations were invited to consultations and on two occasions the PSC postponed. He said too that the Opposition was also invited but never showed up, which he noted clearly shows their lack of interest in the consultative process.
Jordan said the Opposition’s reaction is like a “child throwing tantrums.”
The Minister told the House that the Opposition’s recent statement that Budget 2017 was prepared at Congress Place and the numbers crunched at the Finance Ministry is cold-hearted and regales the work of the hardworking staff at his ministry.