Even as industry stakeholders appeal for more concessions, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan made it clear that he will not be encouraging a “free for all” system.
In fact, the economist told representatives of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) and the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GC&CI), that the provision of concessions is tied to performance.
During the fourth round of 2019 budget consultations yesterday, Jordan said, “I keep stressing (that) if we give concessions, what are we getting in return? We promised them (GGDMA and GCCI officials) that we would take all of their recommendations within the context of Budget 2019, and to the extent that we could fulfill them, we will; partially or whole.”
The Finance Minister explained that there are some areas where concessions would not be possible, given the state of the economy. He noted however that there are some areas that look promising.
“I’m sure we can have a 2019 Budget that (ensures) that some of these concessions are given,” he said.
The economist also stressed that when these concessions are granted, the government wants to see returns.
In this regard, he said, “We don’t just give concessions which are relief in certain areas but are an expense to the average citizen. We expect a benefit down the road; hence, we expect to see improved mining practices, improved declarations, improved foreign currency at the Bank of Guyana and taxes for the government.”
Jordan added that the government will consider granting concessions to tax compliant companies.
Budget 2019 consultations continue today at the Finance Ministry’s boardroom from 2pm.