The Mayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine is seeking to make revenue collection more relaxed for vendors in the city, as they are uncomfortable with the present method of officers visiting their various booths to collect revenue. In an interview with Guyana Times on Tuesday, the Mayor said this was one of the issues brought up at a recent meeting when vendors met with City Hall officials for a meeting last week.“We met with all the vendors both wholesale and retailers last week Wednesday. That meeting was really to talk to them and they had wanted to voice their concerns because they have a lot of concerns out there,” he explained.Going forward, the Mayor has committed to another meeting to hear from those vendors himself.So far, those persons have complained about businesses dumping their refuse near their places of business among others.“Those were the most concerns and how we will regularise the revenue collectors. Some people do not feel comfortable for someone to go and collect revenue from them just like that so we are working to put a system in place since I took office,” Narine posited.He assured that his Information Technology (IT) Department has been working tirelessly along with the IT Committee to put provisions in place for those vendors to visit City Hall and pay their monthly dues whereby they will be issued a receipt.On this note, Narine noted that revenue collection is usually done on a weekly basis, where collectors would pick up these dues and issue receipts.“I think as the Mayor I don’t want to see that in the future,” he said.The various markets, on the other hand, has an office where stallholders pay their revenue, in an environment which has been described as safer.Last year June, a similar method was implemented to collect revenue at the Bourda Market.Back then, revenue collectors from the market section would act on behalf of the Council to manoeuvre around the vendors and apply the charges on behalf of the Council and collect the revenues based on what was owed.However, to enhance the transparency and accountability of this process, this will not be done in the future. A booth was established at Regent Street and Orangewalk, where the system will be modified. Cashiers will be present at the booth while “issuers” and “verifiers” will be dispatched to the vendors.“An issuer would come towards a vendor. They would assess the goods that is on the ground and they would write what is called a ‘slip’. The vendor would be given that slip and the vendor is expected to take that slip towards the cashier booth and make his or her payments,” Accounting Manager of the Council, John Douglas explained.
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