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– Insists due diligence must be returned By Kiana Wilburg The coalition Government has ordered a review of all companies in the major sectors. It was found that under the previous regime, several entities were allowed to enter certain divisions without any due diligence being exercised.This is according to Minster of Governance, Raphael Trotman. He insists that the process of conducting “due diligence” must be returned to the manner in which the country’s resources are handled.Minister of Governance, Raphael TrotmanMinister Trotman was asked last week to state when Government would investigate some of those foreign companies which escaped any sort of scrutiny by sheltering under the wings of established local companies.He said, “Well that has already started. In fact, I have ordered a complete review on all the agencies in the sectors of mining, oil and gas, wild life, forestry etc. We hope to complete that report by the last week of October so yes we are doing all reviews.”The Minister of Governance continued, “We aren’t anti-investment but we want to ensure that everyone is obeying the laws. We have no problem with diversification but it should not interfere with the stability of the market.”The failure to exercise due diligence or examine the background of certain companies cost the country millions of dollars under the previous administration.In one case,Cheap Authentic Soccer Jerseys, Guyana is yet to recover the loss incurred.The People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP), on September 14, 2012, entered into a contract with Surendra Engineering Corporation Limited (SECL) for the Specialty Hospital project. No due diligence was done on this company.It was agreed that the company would provide services related to designing, building, equipping,Nike Air Max 1 Suomi, testing, delivering, installing and commissioning of facilities for the facility in Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara. The cost of the contract was over US$18M.In December of that year Surendra Engineering received 20 percent of the contract price as an advance payment – approximately US$3.6M and November 2013 an additional payment of US$649,440 was made.The contract was terminated when Surendra last year reportedly attempted to submit a performance bond from a company in Trinidad and Tobago called ‘World Bankers Re Company Ltd’.Following queries, the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago stepped in to reveal that ‘Worldwide Bankers’ was not a registered company under the insurance act of Trinidad and Tobago.Following the termination of the contract, Government moved to the Commercial Division of the High Court with Surendra being named as the defendant.Government was claiming damages in excess of $100M, as well as special damages amounting to over US$4M.Surendra had by then, flown the coop and vacated its local office in Berbice when court officials visited to serve the writ. So when the matter was called twice, on January 21 and again on January 23, 2013,Air Max 90 Baratas, and no one appeared on behalf of the company.The court then awarded judgment in favour of the Government of Guyana.Further, over the years, many of our financial analysts have opined that a country’s inability to carry out proper screening on the type of companies investing in Guyana and the ‘kind’ of money” being invested in the economy can have dangerous implications.They believe that it is important to have proper screening on all investment proposals to determine if companies are “high risk” or corrupt.The results of this screening should be one of the requirements before handing out “like candy, tax holidays,” they stressed.According to a 2013 report by the United States Bureau on Economics and Business Affairs, (http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2013/204653.htm) “the (previous) Government of Guyana actively encourages foreign direct investment (FDI), but needs to do more to facilitate investment and implement more transparent and accountable procedures.”It said, too, that Guyanese law permits foreign ownership of companies. There is no mandatory screening of foreign investment.However, the former government conducted de facto screenings of most investments to determine which businesses are eligible for special tax treatment, access to licenses, land, and approval for investment incentives.It said that in spite of efforts to remove discretionary power from various ministries, former Ministers still retained significant authority to determine how relevant laws,Cheap Air Max 720 Free Shipping, such as the Investment Act, Small Business Act, and Procurement Act, are applied.It also highlighted that the country’s main investment agency, the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-INVEST), is the starting point for those seeking necessary permits and tax concessions,Maglia Inter Scontata, but often time-consuming engagements with other offices is likely to be required.GO-INVEST assesses whether a prospective investor’s proposals have sufficient capital backing, and, if not, inquiries generally do not progress further.The report also said that though not required, the former government expected investors to submit business proposals to GO-INVEST that outline the proposed project, the value of the investment, and employment to be generated from the investment.GO-INVEST would review the proposals and makes recommendations to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) in accordance with the Customs Duties Order of 2003.The GRA determines whether imports comply with regulation and whether those materials are eligible for tax relief. GRA makes the final recommendation to the Minister of Finance on whether to grant exemptions and waivers from customs duty, excise tax, and value added tax.With this in mind, local financial analysts have called into question the nature of the due diligence reports conducted by the Guyana Office for Investment and whether a report is conducted on all companies it reviews and assesses before providing a recommendation for tax holidays.CEO of Go-Invest, Keith Burrowes had made it clear that the company currently lacks the capacity to conduct a due diligence report on all the investors it sees, thereby making it unable to identify high risk or corrupt companies.He had stressed that Go-Invest lacks the necessary resources to even monitor in many cases how the concessions granted to some of the companies will benefit the country.Burrowes had said, “At Go-Invest,Maglia Inter Nuova, the due diligence report is an investigation or audit of a potential investment, which serves to confirm all material facts. So what we basically look for is accessing the company’s financial statements, the liabilities they have and if they are involved in any illegalities.”“But to check for all these things you need the physical and human resources to do so and we don’t have that…We lack the capacity to carry out the economic analysis on companies to determine what they are really coming with…“We want to know what is being done also with the concessions being granted and the tax holidays and how the country is really benefitting from this.”
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