Couva Point Lisas Chamber wants tax deferrals to cope with loss of business

Story by SHASTRI BOODAN

The Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce (CPLCC) says the business community could go under unless the Government extends a helping hand, during this COVID-19 crisis.

The Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce (CPLCC) wants Government to give the business community some financial breaks during this time of the COVID-19 crisis.

CPLCC head, Ramchand Rajbal Maraj, told Guardian Media that while the CPLCC is happy with moves made by the government to reduce the spread of the COVID19 Virus, the business community could go under unless the government extends a helping hand.

He said the government should move the April 30 deadline for the filing of taxes to a date at least 3 months  later on the calendar. Rajbal Maraj also suggests the payment of the Green Fund, VAT, additional taxes and utility bills should be deferred for at least at least 3 months, so businesses can recover. According to Mr Maraj, many business have to foot utility bills for electricity, water and phones and simply won’t have the money.

The CPLCC head says they also are seeking a lower rate of interest on  credit cards, interest on loans and overdrafts.

He said the government should start seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund and other related financial institutions to ensure there is no crash in the  financial system.

“The government must show some flexibility when it comes to paying taxes and if not, they have to justify  small and medium businesses going under,” he argues.

Rajbal Maraj said he wants the government to guarantee an adequate supply of  food, water and medicines in this country. He also wants the authorities to give more information on the COVID-19 Virus and  establish a dedicated information hotline.

He also told Guardian Media that he was dissatisfied that the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation does not have a Principal Medical Officer, and has not had one to guide the council for the past 3 months.

He says this must be rectified quickly, given the current COVID-19 crisis.