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Former AG recommends full-time legal counsel for Jagdeo

Former AG recommends full-time legal counsel for Jagdeo

first_img…calls new Linden tolls discriminatory, unconstitutionalA successful law suit can be filed against the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government every week—the latest legal infraction being the recently introduced tolls to traverse Linden—long considered the gateway to the interior.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThis is the view of Former Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, who insists that the new tolls are not only discriminatory but a violation of the Guyana Constitution which enshrines that no law shall make provisions to provide for any discrimination.Nandlall is of the opinion that the By-Laws recently approved by Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan, is one such violation of the Guyana Constitution since it is inherently discriminatory.“These By-Laws, in essence, impose toll charges on vehicles travelling through the municipality of Linden… significantly; the By-Laws provide that these tolls do not apply to vehicles which are registered in the names of a person living in Linden.”It was set out in the recently enacted By-Laws that Lindeners are to pay a toll to be determined by the Council twice a year in January and July and “presumably, the toll that would be fixed for Lindeners would be, appreciatively, lower.”Nandlall has since posited that by “applying these constitutional provisions to those By-Laws, every first yearCommunities Minister Ronald Bulkanlaw student would conclude that those By-Laws are discriminatory and inconsistent with Article 149 and therefore, are null and void by virtue of Article 8 of the Constitution.”He posited that the enacted By-Laws would have enjoyed legal scrutiny, as well as the approval of Cabinet and as such, “I cannot help but express my bewilderment, as I have often done, at how such elementary legal mistakes can survive the scrutiny of a Cabinet comprising of an Attorney General and four other lawyers.”Nandlall said he has since advised the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, to hire a full-time lawyer for his office since “a successful law suit can be filed against this government every week.”According to the former AG and Legal Affairs Minister, the imposition of tolls is but the latest in an avalanche of increased tax measures that have been imposed in an environment of no commensurate increase in wages, no new investments and no job-creation opportunities.He said, “to compound the plight of the ordinary Guyanese, these economic disincentives are complemented by and coupled with a plethora of similarly oppressive and anti-business policies imposed by the government.”Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil NandlallNandlall suggested that the result has been gross economic decline, commercial stagnation and fiscal inertia:“Indeed, anyone unfamiliar with the realities of Guyana, reading the vast and varying compendium of tax measures to which I have alluded, would never believe that that regime of tax measures were imposed over a period of a mere seven months, that is, March to August, 2016.”He said, “thus far, we have witnessed astronomical increases, in some instances, as high as 1200 per cent in 140 public licences fees.”He pointed too to the imposition of VAT on heavy-duty equipment in agricultural, mining, forestry and construction industries which were hitherto VAT-free; the imposition of taxes on imported raw materials for the manufacturing industry; the imposition of higher import duties and taxes on vehicles by banning the importation of vehicles that are eight years and older; the imposition of higher taxes on steel; the imposition of a tax on containers; the routine subjecting of almost every container imported to almost 100 per cent inspection by Customs which invariably leads to increase in Customs and Excise Duties; increased parking fees at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport by 400 per cent; the impending implementation of parking meters within the City of Georgetown; the increase in application fees for State lands from $5000 to $55,000; the proposal to increase rates and taxes on properties throughout the country; the proposal to increase drainage and irrigation charges by MMA/ADA from $2500 per acre to $6000 per acre annually; the proposal to increase fees at the Demerara Harbour Bridge; inter alia.Nandlall said he is of the view that the coalition Government is pursuing a flawed fiscal policy of supplementing the shortfall of revenue by increasing taxation.According to Nandlall, the grand plan appears to be to augment revenue by taxing the population to the hilt, while waiting on the oil revenues to flourish.He said government appears oblivious to the stark economic truth that no country ever accumulated its wealth by overtaxing taxing its people, adding too that thus far, government is yet to produce a plan or a policy that would lend to job creation, increasing the size of the economy, attract and generate local or foreign investments, sourcing new markets for our produce, addressing the astronomical cost of energy or deliver social justice – all of which are so vital to economic growth and the social elevation of our people.last_img read more