Guyana tax body fast-tracking plans to develop O&G capacity

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The Guyana Revenue Authority has been able to procure the services of an oil and gas expert to assist with the development of its oil and gas unit within the agency.

The expert, Alnoor Kassam, is the former head of the oil and gas unit of the Canadian Revenue Authority and is expected in the South American country in the second week of February.

He will be working under a two-year contract but is only required to be in Guyana for thirty weeks a year.

GRA’s Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia, at a news conference on Friday, said, “This is in keeping with the financial assistance from the World Bank to help boost its’ technical capacity in oil and gas.”

He said the aim is to have a full-fledged oil and gas unit that is separate from the large taxpayers unit.

Statia said the World Bank is also providing assistance to help Guyana solicit the services of an accounting firm. “This firm or firms will be responsible for doing the cost oil analysis and we have so far shortlisted five of those firms out of fourteen. It has since been sent back to the World Bank and they should now send in their proposals and we shall pick one,” he said.

Andrew Okello, a Customs Expert, has also been secured by the international agency to complement Guyana’s efforts.

The World Bank is providing a 35 million US dollars development policy credit to Guyana to better prepare the country to benefit from its oil and gas reserves. This is intended to support Guyana’s efforts in strengthening structural and fiscal management policies.

Oil production in the new petroleum hot spot is expected to begin by 2020.

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