Harmon issues statement on Bai Shan Lin controversy

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Following is the full text of the statement issued a few minutes ago by Minister of State, Hon. Joseph Harmon on request for delay of action against Bai Shan Lin by GRA:

“Over the past weeks, several reports in the media conveyed the erroneous impression that I had used my official Government position to interfere in the work of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).  Reports alleged also that there were corrupt dealings with the Company involved in the intended actions by the GRA.

Minister of State, Joe Harmon
Minister of State, Joe Harmon

I refrained from making a public response to those reports earlier because my actions were linked to Guyana’s diplomatic relations and its pursuit of foreign investment that would be beneficial to the people of Guyana.

The Cabinet has now been fully briefed on this and other matters, currently in the public domain and it has been agreed that I make a public statement on this and other matters.

On Thursday March 17, 2016 representation was made to me by an official of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Guyana on an urgent matter affecting one of their national’s company operations in Guyana.  I was advised that personnel of the GRA had gone to the premises of Bai Shan Lin in furtherance of a Tax demand by the GRA of Gy$1.5 billion dollars.

The GRA personnel were intent on seizing movable assets of the Company.  The Chinese official explained that the principals of the Company were not in Guyana and requested a stay of execution of the GRA’s action for 14 days pending the return of those principals, at which time they would go into the GRA to settle their indebtedness.  The Embassy officials also gave the assurance that none of the assets of the Company would be removed, during that grace period.

Considering the importance of Guyana/China relations and the urgency of the matter, I made contact with the GRA and requested the facility.  This request was granted. At the expiration of the 14 days requested, the GRA proceeded with its work.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Bullshit harmon, you’re making excuses. Why did they contact you about this? Why not talk to the GRA and get them to postpone their actions until 14 days later? Why let these persons, guyanese nationals or not, waste more of our time and efforts when they have been non compliant for months. 14 more days makes such a big difference to them? And the GRA still seized the vehicles anyway. The company could’ve sent the money to their representatives at their embassy and have them pay the GRA. Harmon you have not only made yourself look bad, but the entire new government.

  2. The question is, as we’d never know which of these things it is, what do we do next? Suppose it was the quid pro quo assumption, probably not even offered by Mr. Harmon but assumed because this is ‘the way of doing business,’ then we ought to ask if we have really managed to change the way of doing business in Guyana (we cannot change the way of doing business in China).

  3. I daresay that the GRA ‘proceeded with its work’ after the 14 days had elapsed because the company did not, contrary to the assurances by the Chinese Embassy official, settle its indebtedness. So it’s either that the official was lying, Mr. Harmon is lying about what the official said, the company was never told that it needed to settle its indebtedness, the company was told but didn’t bother because it didn’t really care about either its indebtedness or the potential seizure of the assets; the company cared but (for whatever reason) but didn’t believe that the GRA would indeed seize the vehicles, the company was invoking a quid pro quo (I’ll transport you when you visit China as long as I don’t have to pay the taxes to the GRA), …. , but seriously, it has to one of these things!

  4. Continue making ,underhand deals,the orangatun must go,uncle pardon them boys,this is worse than camp street,scampstreet now start, all the shady deals and corruption surfacing now

  5. Following is the full text of the statement issued a few minutes ago by Minister of State, Hon. Joseph Harmon on request for delay of action against Bai Shan Lin by GRA:
    The media has its work cut out now– must seek a response from the Chinese Embassy— this is like a circus now..

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