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first_img– vows to advance small and medium scale businessesNewly elected President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, has committed to strengthening the tenets of economic development so that the country can be resilient in the instance of declining prices for Guyana’s oil & gas industry, which is set to commence in 2020.Indar has vowed to advance programmes that would facilitate the growth of small and medium scale businesses.“I want to work with our partners in working on developing small and medium sizedGCCI’s 2018/2019 Executive Management Committeebusinesses. Our partners include Government, financial institutions, development agencies, aid agencies, to make sure that they provide help,” he told Guyana Times.He related that measures will be implemented to ensure that small operators manufacture products to accepted standards where packaging and functionality of the product are concerned. The GCCI President said these products must be suited for consumption. He further explained that he would also be working with services industries to ensure that they, too, elevate their standards.He told Guyana Times that the small and mediums size business owners must not just receive “handouts” in the form of grants and loans, but Government policies should support the growth of the business environment. He observed also that taxes must not be burdensome, and stressed that the GCCI would continue to press for adjustments to policies which are not in keeping with business growth.“The main objective of the chamber is to make sure that whatever additional taxes or increase in taxes (are levied, they) are not burdensome. We will continue to work with our Government partners to explain, to advocate, to show by way of analysis and empirical information, that whatever the policies are that are affecting businesses… once businesses [have] sustained downturn, then (those policies are) not effective in developing a conducive business environment,” Indar told this newspaper.He added that he would advocate for Guyanese businesses to benefit from the oil & gas sector, and noted that importers and retailers must be properly treated by regulators such as the Government Analyst Food and Drugs Department and the Guyana Revenue Authority. He noted that GCCI will continue pushing for the removal of value-added tax on several products and services, such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, electricity and water.“They [Government] removed from the zero-rated list a whole set of items. Those things are having an impact on businesses,” he stressed.The Sterling Products Limited Executive was on Thursday elected GCCI President for the year 2018-2019 following last week’s election of a new GCCI Council of 21 members. Indar told Guyana Times that the council’s election process was smooth, transparent, and without hiccups.Aside from Indar’s election, Nicholas Deygoo Boyer of National Hardware Limited was elected Senior Vice President, Timothy Tucker of Rid-O-Pes was elected Junior Vice President, and Kester Hutson of Dapper Technology was elected Secretary; while Shanti Persaud of Silvie’s Variety Store was named Treasurer.Established since 1889, GCCI has expanded its membership to over 200 members for 2017/2018. The body also attained a net surplus of $ 5.6 million for 2017 out of $ 72.4 million for total revenue recorded. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more