– rise in income, import duty, VAT and excise tax collectionsWhile a number of indicators point to Guyana’s economic growth declining, one thing that is not declining is tax collection. The statistics show that for the year 2017, tax and non-tax collection rose to $194.7 billion.GRA headquartersThe 2017 end-of-year outcome report states that tax revenues accounted for $171.2 billion of the overall amount. At the heart of this increase in tax revenues, which account for 87.9 per cent of total revenue, is the Government raking in more taxes than ever.For instance, there was a $1 billion or 1.4 per cent increase in the collection of income tax; $600 million or a 3.5 per cent hike in import duty collection and a $300 billion or 0.4 per cent hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise tax collection.“Total non-tax revenues were projected at $23.6 billion; actual non-tax revenues for 2017 were, therefore, closely in line with the projections at the time of Budget 2018. The Guyana Revenue Authority remitted $49.2 billion,” the report states.According to the report, this is equivalent to 28.8 per cent of tax revenues, compared to 27.9 per cent in 2016 ($42.3 billion). It is also $2.2 billion more than the estimated sum quoted in Budget 2018.While tax collection is up, however, other aspects of the report indicate some troubling patterns. For instance, the same report shows that the deficit in Guyana’s balance of payments, an important economic indicator, is on the rise.Balance of Payments is the record of a country’s fiscal transactions, including imports and exports. To therefore record a deficit, Guyana would have had to spend more on imports, among other things, than it gained from exports.According to the report, Guyana’s overall balance of payment in the 2017 fiscal year showed a deficit of US$69.5 million. This is a hike when compared to US$53.3 million the previous year. And a breakdown of the figures shows stunning disparities.On the one hand, the current account shows a deficit of US$287.4 million for the year 2017. But in the previous fiscal year, the report notes, this was just US$12.4 million. The report admits that this is because of a negative balance on the merchandise trade account:“The further weakening was due to the negative balance on the merchandise trade account. Merchandise exports were slightly lower than projected, mainly on account of lower export earnings of gold and other exports in the last two months of the year.”When Finance Minister Winston Jordan presented the 2018 Budget last year, he had announced that merchandise imports were estimated to grow by 9.6 per cent. This had been attributed to increased imports of mining machinery, chemicals, fuel, and lubricants. According to the report, imports exceeded the Government’s projections.“Imports were slightly more than the US$1.59 billion projected at the time of the presentation of the 2018 Budget. As a result, the merchandise trade deficit of US$196.2 million was considerably higher than the projected deficit of US$147.2 million.”“Notwithstanding, the deficit on the services account was lower than estimated. The improvement in the services account more than offset the weaker balances on both the non-factor services and unrequited transfers accounts,” the report states.The parliamentary Opposition had previously expressed concern over the increasing deficit in the country’s balance of payments, which it had said would continue to have serious implications for the local economy.This is coupled with the revised growth rate of 2.1. The growth rate was attributed to the fact that sugar, bauxite, and gold all underperformed.
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Led by Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian attack is the “most complete” of this era but it must not be compared with the bowling units of 2003 and 2011 when the team reached the World Cup finals, reckons Sachin Tendulkar.If at all a comparison has to be made, then the current bowling unit should be compared with the attacks of this era, he insisted.Tendulkar, who played six World Cups between 1992 and 2011 and has seen different bowling attacks led by Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan from close quarters, finds it unacceptable that different generations playing under different rules are compared with each other.”I don’t like comparisons as those were different eras, where different teams played on different surfaces under different set of rules,” Tendulkar told PTI when asked to compare the current unit with the attacks of 2003 and 2011.For the maestro, who was part of two of three finals that India played, the change of rules makes it difficult to compare generations.”We have two new balls and fielding restrictions in place (four fielders outside 30-yard circle between overs 11 and 40 and one more in the last 10 overs), it is like 100m runners are now running 90m or 80m because laws have changed.”It is difficult for bowlers with no reverse swing which single new ball offered. So if you want to judge the current Indian attack, they should be judged with rival attacks of this generation only. But yes, when it comes to this era, this is a very good attack,” said Tendulkar.advertisement”However I can’t take away anything from the contributions made by the bowling attacks of 2003 and 2011 World Cup campaign. In 2003, that bowling attack (Srinath, Zaheer, Nehra and Harbhajan) took us to the final while we did one better in 2011 (Zaheer, Nehra, Harbhajan, Munaf Patel and Yuvraj Singh).”However, with the world’s premier pacer Bumrah in its rank, this attack is as good as it can get, said Tendulkar.”What’s the best thing about this attack is the fact that they are on top of their game. It is the the most complete in this era. Bumrah has been world’s no 1 bowler in this format for some time now. He has been our ‘go to man’ providing crucial breakthroughs whenever needed.”Also the two wrist spinners (Kuldeep and Chahal) operating in tandem during middle overs will be crucial as we are expected to get more wickets in that phase. So overall, it’s a very good attack of this era,” said Tendulkar.Also Read | World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul sizzle on Southampton streetsAlso See: