Work­ing class Guyanese rel­e­gated to drive old ve­hi­cles

Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL & WORLD NEWS -

Dear Ed­i­tor, The for­eign con­ces­sion class, se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, re-mi­grants, the ul­tra-rich and the mafia class in Guyana, are the most likely res­i­dents to be driv­ing new econ­omy class ve­hi­cles that cost US$25,000 – 30,000/GY$6,000,000; or drive Corvettes, Range Rovers, Rolls-Royces or Porsches, based on the con­ces­sions and fi­nanc­ing avail­able to this group.

We have rel­e­gated work­ing class Guyanese from ac­cess­ing new ve­hi­cles with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy. The Guyana ve­hi­cle tar­iff regime is an­ti­quated, ar­chaic and vi­sion­less which has re­sulted in re­stric­tive, op­pres­sive and ir­ra­tional ve­hi­cle im­port tax rates. There are many mid-level sedans and non-pre­mium cat­e­gory cars that have over 1999 Cylin­der Ca­pac­ity (CC); ve­hi­cles in this cat­e­gory, such as the Honda Ac­cord, Nis­san Al­tima, Toy­ota Camry and Hyundai Sonata, will be taxed at Guyana’s world beat­ing ve­hi­cle tar­iff/tax rate of 247% to 297%.

The ve­hi­cle buyer im­port­ing a 3,000 CC econ­omy-class ve­hi­cle is asked to pay the same ex­or­bi­tant tar­iff as the buyer im­port­ing a 6000 CC Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal. It’s only one com­po­nent of the many mal­func­tion­ing cog­ni­tive junc­tions that per­me­ate our ve­hi­cle tar­iff struc­ture. Is it gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy to re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and have Guyanese drive low CC ve­hi­cles? The ve­hi­cles used by our Min­is­ters cer­tainly do not sug­gest any gov­ern­ment pol­icy to re­duce fuel con­sump­tion, which is quite ac­cept­able; how­ever what is unacceptable is the stu­pen­dous tar­iff rates im­posed on Guyanese not el­i­gi­ble for duty-free con­ces­sions. It is not as if we are pro­tect­ing Guyana’s ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try!

The mem­bers of the Guyanese mid­dle-class have to con­sider them­selves for­tu­nate if they are able to ac­quire a ve­hi­cle six to eight years old with 2000 CC or over. We need to change the cur­rent ve­hi­cle im­port tar­iff struc­ture forth­with. No won­der we have so many il­le­gal schemes to avoid the ve­hi­cle tar­iff, re­sult­ing in re­sources wasted to man­age and im­ple­ment an out­dated and il­log­i­cal ve­hi­cle tar­iff struc­ture. Yours faith­fully, Nigel Hinds

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