The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), on Wednesday last, received a quantity of equipment from the Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs through the Embassy of the United States of America to aid the work of the Authority’s Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID).
The equipment valued US$6,762.49 includes 15 helmets, 30 handcuffs and 30 gloves and are intended to support LEID as it engages in its anti smuggling exercises on land and water among other duties.
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, who holds responsibility for the GRA, received the donation from the United States Ambassador to Guyana Perry Holloway during a simple ceremony at the Authority’s Headquarters that was also attended by the Commissioner General (ag) Ingrid Griffith, and the press.
The presentation was seen as a fitting gift to the GRA on the day that it celebrated 16 years as a semi-autonomous organisation. That occasion was marked by a ceremonial cutting of the cake between Chairman of the Governing Board Mr. Rawle Lucas and Public Relations Manager (ag) Melissa Baird.
Minister Jordan, in his remarks, regarded the donation by the US Embassy as a “tangible gesture,” to Guyana’s development effort and to an Authority that is tasked with delivering the results with confidence, dedication and determination.
“We need an organisation that enforces the tax laws of this country, fairly but firmly. We need an organisation that is dedicated to the task of making GRA a premier tax collecting agency,” Minister Jordan said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the U.S. Ambassador who regarded the GRA as an organisation that is crucial to the country’s future through its work to collect taxes, combat financial crimes and contraband.
“The equipment that we are donating today is specialised equipment that will help the men and women who work on a daily basis to root out contraband and smuggling and to do their job in a better and safer fashion, Ambassador Holloway said.
Much appreciation was extended by the Commissioner General (ag) to the U.S. Ambassador for a partnership that has in the past seen the GRA benefitting from training, particularly in international port security.
The enforcement arm of the GRA is there to ensure reconciliation between revenue collection and observed levels of economic activity.