Grenada’s four-month old government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has moved swiftly to deal with a potentially explosive issue with some local manufacturers.
About three weeks ago, one of the country’s leading manufacturers complained to THE NEW TODAY about a letter received from former Comptroller of Inland Revenue, Pauline Peters about a change to the existing regime that qualified them to get rebates from the 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on the sale of their goods.
The manufacturer charged that the new regime disqualified them since they did not take part in a VAT study that was undertaken for some of the major manufacturing companies on the island by Agricultural Economist, Dr. Patrick Antoine, a key Advisor to the Mitchell government.
According to the manufacturer, the change in the regime could force some companies to send home workers and might even result in some of them being forced to close their doors.
The Mitchell government has now responded by issuing the following release:
The Ministry of Finance wishes to make it abundantly clear that it is not Government’s policy that access to the MCP is based on manufacturers’ participation in the study which was commissioned by some members of the private sector.
On the contrary, the policy of Government is that all manufacturers which meet the qualifying criteria will have access to the Programme.
In this regard, a working group, comprising of Government and Chamber of Commerce representatives, is scheduled to meet on Monday, July 01, 2013 to discuss the following as it relates to the MCP:
1. Qualifying criteria;
2. Implementation modalities; and
3. Appointment of VAT Advisory Committee.
Manufacturers will be advised on the conclusions of these discussions in due course. In the meantime, manufacturers are asked to continue with the regime which existed prior to the announcement of the MCP until further notice.