GUYANA Revenue Authority (GRA) Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia has reported that revenue collections last year increased to just under $230 billion, some $27.4 billion more than the sum collected in 2018.
The commissioner-general was at the time speaking on Friday at a press conference at the GRA’s Camp Street, Georgetown headquarters.
“We have been in constant double figures growth since 2016, we have actually moved revenue collections from 2016 when it was $145 billion to now, 2019, at $230 billion, so you can see the efforts of the GRA where it was in the wide -ranging changes and the widening of the tax base would have led to these sort of increases,” he said.
Additionally, he said there have been significant increases in taxes from motor vehicles, gold production and declarations, along with a significant amount in withholding taxes.
Focusing on plans for 2020, Statia said there will be another CT scanner installed at the Ogle Airport and another permanent scanner will be installed at the Lombard Street scanning facilities.
“Actually, we had hoped for it to be in the country by March, April, since they are coming from China. What we also plan to do before the end of this year, and before the Christmas season, is to get two barrel scanners; we are going to have one at the GNIC Wharf and another at the John Fernandes Wharf, that will facilitate non-intrusive scanning,” he explained.
Adding that those profiled will be separated, Statia said others will be cleared immediately.
He said, eventually, a system will be worked out to ensure all port have scanners. At the Ogle airport, scanners will be positioned in such a manner that baggages are scanned before it reaches the owner, he added.
“If it is profiled because we see things that need to be verified, then a person will need to see a customs officer. At Timehri, we will also have a nothing-to-declare line with two scanners, so you can walk through straight. We don’t have to check you unless it picks something up; so we are trying to go high-tech and non-intrusive as possible,” Statia said.
He explained that when the human element is removed, then there will be less collusion, bribery and corruption.