After 28 years, City Hall commences payments to NIS

-- in talks with GRA to pay debts

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The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown has commenced payments owed to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) which were outstanding for almost 28 years.

Payments to the insurance scheme were not made since 1994 and accrued to almost $500 million, Mayor Ubraj Narine disclosed during a press conference at City Hall on Friday.

“I was three years old in 1994 so I can’t say why, I came and met these liabilities,” Narine said when questioned as to why payments to NIS were not being made over the years.

“The council has made a decision that we have to do something about it so that the staff here can receive their right benefit from NIS,” he said.

Narine highlighted that a few current staff are already receiving benefits from NIS, however, he was not able to say whether former staffers of M&CC will be able to claim from the insurance provider.

He noted that the council and NIS came to an agreement for a payment plan where two months’ payments will be made simultaneously, the current month and one outstanding month.

“What we did is we paid one month back, one month forward so we keep the current payments up to date while we make back payment as well,” Narine said.

Meanwhile, the council also met with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) about a week ago to discuss payments owed to GRA which Narine disclosed to be over $1 billion.

“These are liabilities this council took over, we took over closely to over $5 billion to $6 billion debt in liabilities,” Narine said.

He explained that the M&CC and GRA reached an agreement in 2019 where the council is required to submit a list with the amount of Value Added Tax (VAT) the council has paid on garbage collection which GRA will reimburse the council.

A part of that list has since been submitted to GRA and the M&CC is now trying to access the previous years so that the revenue collection body can write off the council’s debts accordingly.

Narine noted that while this agreement was reached, discussions also included the issue of GRA occupying parts of the city for which the council is not being paid.

This includes the avenue on Camp Street and locations along the Lamaha Railway Embankment where GRA is operating a temporary license facility and parking lot.

“You cannot have these agencies just burden the City Council for money which is by law while the same very government agencies continue to abuse the municipality of Georgetown, we cannot continue in this manner,” Narine said.

Narine said that the M&CC is looking for a “good relationship” with GRA and other government agencies so that they can work together for the better of the citizens of Georgetown.

1 Comment
  1. Matthew says

    The Good and Green Guyana Party……fuggot to mek pay!

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