Most commentators have given the recent national budget a passing grade, with its delicate balance between stimulating economic activity and protecting the many remuneration-challenged individuals who never got going or have fallen on hard times.
Now, and most importantly, in this current period of great uncertainty both locally and internationally, I would like the Government to give serious consideration to reactivating the long-defunct Economic Development Advisory Board and appoint only the best and most visionary economists to the board, such as Dr Terrence Farrell, Dr Roger Hosein, Dr Vaalmiki Arjoon, Mary King and Marla Dukharan. Then, implement their best proposals.
Indeed, it is critically important right now to put party affiliation on the back burner and get the best minds available working for the country in the vital area of economic planning. In this regard, I would like to make two small proposals of my own as follows:
1. Take freight rates out of the equation when calculating VAT (value-added tax) to be charged on all incoming shipments of all categories of goods.
2. Reward and stimulate export-­oriented manufacturers who have earned 100 per cent of their foreign exchange requirements for over ten years by remo­ving VAT completely on their raw material shipments.
Gregory Wight


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