The Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority, Rawle Lucas, on Sunday slammed the Private Sector Commission over its “malicious” statement that the GRA searched and seized property from the home of the GRA Commissioner General, Khurshid Sattaur who is on 200 days leave to allow an audit.
In his statement, Mr. Lucas emphasized that “the GRA did not search or seize any property as maliciously claimed by the Private Sector Commission”.
He said “while I agree that the protection of human rights is important, that concern did not apply to the case where GRA officials went to the home of Mr. Sattaur by mutual agreement on December 31, 2015 to retrieve the property of the Government of Guyana and to ensure that sensitive taxpayers’ data was properly secured.”
According to Lucas, the most alarming feature of the press release by the PSC, “is the embellishment of erroneous information with the allegation that a search and seizure of Mr. Sattaur’s home occurred and these untrue acts took place without any regards for Mr. Sattaur’s rights”.
“The troubling feature of that erroneous claim is that the PSC seems to be seeking to drive fear and mistrust of GRA into the minds of taxpayers, the very things that the new Governing Board is seeking to heal in its relationship with taxpayers”, the GRA Chairman said.
He bashed the PSC for not seeking to probe the claims made before firing off its press statement and he said “that the PSC would take time to carefully construct unsubstantiated statements without seeking to find out the position of the GRA does not speak well for its own integrity and comes across as a deliberate attempt to malign and frustrate an organization that is trying to turn its tarnished image around.”
Lucas said the PSC ought to be careful, since continued distortion of facts would make it difficult for those who have to deal with it, to rely on anything that it has to say.
At a Friday press conference, the GRA Chairman revealed that Mr. Sattaur agreed to hand over sensitive data and equipment to the GRA and even handed over equipment that was not requested. Additionally, he was in the possession of five cars and a golf cart belonging to the GRA. Four of the vehicles were taken away and a link from Sattaur’s home to the GRA’s server with important tax information, was also disconnected.