Small and large businesses are being urged to take their tax obligations more seriously if the government is to be able to fulfill its promise of delivering a good life for all Guyanese.
Business Minister Dominic Gaskin opened the debates for the government on Monday and promised greater support for businesses, particularly small business to ensure they are tax compliant.
He commended the measures in the budget to ensure that the revenue base of the state is not under threat of depletion even as capital projects are given a fair chance to progress. To this end, Gaskin said too many small businesses do not comply with taxation.
“It is important that all businesses pay taxes”, he added while announcing training support for some 4000 small businesses in 2016. Through this training, small business owners are expected to be better positioned to better manage their financial and other affairs.
The training will also give business owners a better understanding of the tax laws, Gaskin added. A total of US$10 million dollars will be utilized to this effect.
Through this funding, there will be the provision of more loans for small businesses.
Gaskin also promised support for the Ministry and other support agencies including the Bureau of Statistics and Go – Invest. $668 million has been set aside in the 2016 budget for the Ministry of Business and its support agencies.
Gaskin believes this amount is adequate to help the Ministry carry out its mandate. The Minister said the good life beckons with the exception of a disgruntled minority. He followed a presentation by People’s Progressive Party Member of Parliament, Irfaan Ali.
Between Ali and Gaskin, Guyana’s economy came in for intense scrutiny but despite the opposition’s prediction of an economic collapse Gaskin defended the budget as the start to a new style of prudent financial management.