Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2016 Contents A6
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Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi
yesterday clarified statements that
the $12 billion in uncollected Value
Added Tax (VAT) which he spoke
about was taken out of context by
Yesterday, Al-Rawi cleared his
position on the matter at a press con-
ference at the Hyatt Regency, Port-
of-Spain, stating that it was impor-
tant for the media to listen carefully
on what "we say in the context of
what we said."
It was during an address at a
Chamber of Industry and Commerce
event on Wednesday, Al-Rawi said
he spoke about outstanding liabilities
on VAT, which was taken out of con-
text by the media.
"I specifically spoke about it over
several years and in answer to ques-
tions that came, I cautioned that the
$12 billion figure was a combination
of events. It was actual amounts due,
interest, penalties on those amounts
over a span of a number of years,
including the estimation of what
should have been in the system, but
what was not in the system."
Al-Rawi said that conversation was
put to Finance Minister Colm Imbert
at Thursday's post-Cabinet media
briefing, resulting in someone asking
if he was going to collect $12 billion
Imbert, in response to the question,
stated that the $12 billion was incor-
rect, stating that he did not know
where Al-Rawi got the figure from.
Imbert explained that while the
State was planning to recoup a sig-
nificant amount of outstanding taxes
via a tax amnesty, $500 million is
the Government's target.
"That is certainly not the conver-
sation that was had at the Chamber
of Commerce. Nor was the hon-
ourable minister (Imbert) present
when the discussion was had and
obviously could only answer the
question put to him."
Al-Rawi said the media should
have understood the context in which
"The fact is, when we speak about
civil asset forfeiture that money laun-
dering and tax evasion is a big issue
for our country and if we mop up
the leakage in revenue then we can
certainly use that money for the run-
ning of our country particularly when
revenue is a significant item on the
After three years of waiting, members of the Blind
Association will be receiving an accelerated payment
of about $1 million in backpay owed to them.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the
association would likely get 100 per cent of their back
pay after being moved by the protest action taken by
members of the association.
The arrears is owed to the monthly paid staff for the
period 2010 and 2012, said executive officer of the Blind
Welfare Association, Kenneth Surratt.
Surratt said the membership was grateful for the backpay
and hopes it will be paid soon.
"We are very happy that the minister took the decision
to make the money available and we are requesting that
he uses good office to ensure the mechanism is in place
for immediate dispersal of this cheque to the association,"
he said. Surratt said it usually takes months for the process
to take place for cheques to be issued to the association.
The number drawn yesterday
on CNC3 News for Guardian s
Cash Dash promotion was
Our Cash Dash promotion team
is now in search of a new winner!
If the number at the back of
your yesterday's Guardian was
413485 you have won $500 cash.
You have until 3 pm on Monday
to come to the Guardian office,
Rodney Road, Endeavour, Chagua-
nas with the newspaper containing
the winning number (in the order
it was drawn), and photo identi-
fication to claim your prize.
Remember to keep your today's,
Sunday and Monday paper and
tune into Monday's CNC3 News
to find out if you have won.
Back pay for blind workers
CASH DASH---Jackpot $500
"I specifically spoke about it over several years and in
answer to questions that came, I cautioned that the $12
billion figure was a combination of events. It was actual
amounts due, interest, penalties on those amounts over a
span of a number of years, including the estimation of
what should have been in the system, but what was not in
the system." ATTORNEY GENERAL, FARIS AL-RAWI.
AG on uncollected VAT talk
Finance Minister Colm Imbert
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