AFC calls for Khurshid Sattaur to be fired as GRA boss

AFC calls for Khurshid Sattaur to be fired as GRA boss

The Opposition party, Alliance For Change is calling for the Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority Khurshid Sattaur to be sent packing, in wake of reports in the Kaieteur News that a number of independent media houses are being targeted by the Revenue Authority for reporting stories that do not find favour with the PPP Civic government.

The Kaieteur News in a Monday report revealed alleged email exchanges between the GRA Commissioner General, the Attorney General and former President Bharrat Jagdeo. In one of those alleged exchanges, tax documents regarding the income and expenditure of a number of media houses were sent allegedly by the Commissioner General to the former President and then forwarded to the Attorney General.

The Alliance For Change in a Tuesday press statement said it “is extremely aghast at the shocking revelations by Kaieteur News with regard to the targeting of independent media by the Guyana Revenue Authority, seemingly under the direction of forces external to the GRA.”

According to the party, it has been in receipt of various “complaints of activities of this nature and had thus long-held suspicions that independent media houses and businesses which are deemed not to be subservient to the authorities have been unfairly targeted for investigations”.

The AFC said it now appears as though “there is incontrovertible evidence as to the scandalous levels of this seemingly highly orchestrated illegal and vile campaign of fear and intimidation which reaches the highest levels of government”.

Contacted by News Source on Tuesday afternoon and asked whether the emails that were featured in the Kaieteur News article were authentic and were indeed sent by him to the former President, Mr. Sattaur said he has no concern about emails but his concerns are more about doing the government’s job and collect taxes from those who have taxes to pay.

He was repeatedly asked by News Source if the emails featured by Kaieteur News were sent by him and while he never denied that they were, he said he does not have time to waste with that issue. He however, expressed some worry that private email exchanges would find their way into the local press, while refusing to say if the same emails are authentic.

“I am not interested in emails. I am interested in collecting taxes. I have more important work to do. The State requires me and they pay me a lot of money to collect taxes, not to go after people who have egos”, the Commissioner General said.

Asked about a response to the call by the Alliance For Change for him to be removed from office, Sattaur said he does not want to get involved in politics.

But the Alliance For Change in its statement is adamant that it is time for the Commissioner General of the GRA to be sent home. The AFC described as “scandalous, appalling and deliberate”, what it considers the breach of the public trust and of the Revenue Authority Act.

The party said the alleged breach represents “a most sickening and foul act perpetrated on the people of Guyana. This revelation brings to the attention of the nation that every citizen and every business is at risk of being targeted and shut down”. The party has now made several calls in wake of the Kaieteur News revelations.

“In light of the evidence which is in the public domain the AFC calls:

1.       For immediate action be taken by the Government of Guyana in relieving the Commissioner General of his duties. No other option can be acceptable.

2.       For a thorough, independent investigation on the matter and for the law to take its full course. Should there be, as indeed seems unavoidable, the need for charges to be laid against those culpable, then this must be executed without fear or favour.

3.       On President Donald Ramotar to immediately withdraw the Attorney General, Mr. Anil Nandlall from heading the Guyana delegation which is scheduled to meet with the CFATF’s America Region Reviewing Group at the end of the month in Miami.

4.       On the Private Sector Commission to publicly and unequivocally condemn these frightening and terrifying revelations.

5.       On civil society, the media and all non-governmental organizations to forthrightly condemn these dastardly and odious revelations”


Filed: 23rd September, 2014 


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