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By Leonard Gildarie I love clothes. If it were possible, I would wear jeans and a t-shirt to every event. Unfortunately, in theLeonard Gildariemedia, at the drop of a hat, you are in the fields dealing with death and tears, and the next at the Ministry of the Presidency or a dinner at the Pegasus or Marriott.It is imperative, therefore, that a media operative dress appropriately. It is a thin line on what is practical and what is appropriate.I could not help but think of the importance of clothes in society and in the business world. It is a fact that you are judged by the way you carry yourself and what you wear.It is also a fact that while going on a date for the first time, you would wear the best, smell the best and of course, be on the best of behaviour.The sexier, the better. I saw a YouTube video recently of how this ordinary woman,Wholesale Jerseys From China, more on the heavy side, literally transformed herself into a slim, curvy woman, using wigs, tights and some kind of wonder bra.It is all part of the dating game, where all stops are pulled out.I could not help thinking about sexy clothes over the last few days and the debate about concessions granted by government.As a developing country that seemed poised for a take-off, we have since the 1990s been actively pursuing foreign investors.As a country with little Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the 1980s, the ‘90s saw a spike, and over the last 20 years, the country has been attracting quite a number of large scale investments, especially in the logging, mining and now the emerging oil sectors.It is standard for most developing countries to introduce concessions for investors coming in. Like sexy clothes and dating,Cheap Jerseys From China, those attractive concessions, as far as Guyana goes, more than likely include waivers on duties for imported vehicles and equipment, tax breaks, land and a number of other things.Many of the companies coming in benefitted from these waivers and tax breaks.The problem is that, over time, it appears that the process granting these concessions was abused. It has cost this country billions of dollars in lost revenue, not something I feel happy about.Let me from the onset say that it is my understanding that from any investment coming into the country – it is a no-brainer – the country and its people must benefit.Why would you want to open a company and know from day one that you are making a loss? What does that say about you as a businessperson?We elect our leaders to make policies and ensure that they are implemented.Our leaders are not lords. They are there to serve us. They are being judged and assessed every day, whether it is in the media or whether it is when a poor man visits the ministry for answers or seeking help for a problem.Every five years, the leaders face the tough task of going back to the citizens asking them to give them the nod again.The harsh reality is that politicians, over time, and there are a few exceptions, have abused the system, allowing arrogance to seep in. The staffers at the ministries and state agencies see and they think it is okay to behave in the same manner.The poor man in the street faces the music. We are paying the price today, as it is our attitude of accepting corruption and poor service as norms that has landed us in this predicament. That attitudinal change will not come overnight.I return to the politicians. We are now learning that some companies were granted concessions without any monitoring to ensure that they deliver.Why would you waive taxes on vehicles or equipment to the tune of $100M without determining what Guyana is getting in return?Any taxpayer and right-thinking citizen who loves this country,CHeap NFL Jerseys China, and wants it to do well, will balk at any suggestion that our politicians are failing in their jobs as the watchdogs or guardians of the gate.To sell out our furniture and television while we were sleeping is tantamount to a home invasion.We learn of how some investors were granted concessions to import spare parts and building materials. Through the loopholes in the investor’s agreement, abuses have been taking place. Some investors have reportedly shipped in building materials they don’t need, just to compete on the local market. Material likes steel,Cheap Jerseys NFL China, roofing sheets, even televisions, were imported.Hundreds of luxury vehicles have purportedly been shipped in under concessions and have somehow ended up in the hands of others not associated in the investment.We look at the 2014 Auditor General Report on spending for the country. and it speaks of almost $60B being waived in concessions. Of course, some of this figure would include duties waived on vehicles for public servants and government officials, among others. It is still a hefty figure when we consider that our national budget last year was just over $220B.We have to seriously look into what concessions are granted to our investors,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, and new policies will have to tie these to a number of benchmarks to be met by investors.Prior to 2015,Cheap Jerseys Authentic, a number of various government agencies were approving concessions.Recently, the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, announced that he was forced to establish fortnightly hearings for miners who wanted concessions. This was after he received reports that persons were charging US$3,000 for his signature on letters for concessions, which involved millions of dollars on excavators and other equipment.We cannot give away our revenues. We fight hard to collect on one hand yet give it away on the other. I can go on and on, on this issue.What is needed now is a clear policy by the Ministry of Finance and Cabinet on the way forward.I have been asked by readers to include my email for comments- it is [email protected]Enjoy the weekend.
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