Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Gov’t reducing concessions this year

Ian Dabreo, President of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association, said that one hotel received the majority of the EC$28.4 million in concessions which Government provided to the tourism sector in 2013.

A Government release earlier this month said that tourism, in particular hotels, was the second highest entity to receive exemptions at the Customs and Excise Division with the first being the Grenada Electricity Services (GRENLEC).

Under the Home-grown Structural Adjustment Programme, Government in a statement from the Ministry of Finance said it has made the decision to reduce concessions to help improve revenue collection, commencing with the most profitable companies. The latter part of 2013, Parliament approved that GRENLEC, which topped the concessions list when it received EC$31.4 million in 2013, will see its concessions reduced by 50% as of 2014.

“The additional revenue will help close Government’s monthly fiscal gap. Most importantly, closing this gap will trigger the release of approximately EC$90 million per year from development partners that will allow for the provision of vital services as health and education as well as financing of Government’s capital development programme,” said the statement.

Besides GRENLEC and the Hotel sector, the other entities/groups receiving the most exemptions were:

1. Manufacturing – $9.7 million

2. St. George’s University – $5.8 million

3. Statutory Bodies – $4.7 million

4. Religious Bodies – $3.4 million

5. Construction – $3.3 million

6. Returning Nationals – $3.3 million

Excluding Goods of CARICOM Origin ($21.5 million) and Government Imports and Contracts ($14.7 million), total Customs exemptions in 2013 were $99.7 million. (LS)

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