Agri ministry gets $4B supplementary funding
The Ministry of Agriculture has been granted $4 billion supplementary funding to offset critical capital works at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) in keeping with its objective to revitalise the industry.
The sum falls under Financial Paper No. 2/2020 – Supplementary Estimates (Current and Capital) totalling over $17 billion for the period January 1, 2020 to December 21, 2020.
Minister Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, in defending the requested amount, told the 15th Sitting of the National Assembly on Monday that that sum would have been less if the Coalition had not neglected the sector.
“Some of the works are earmarked to be done with this $4 billion, for example, if you go around the three operating estates, they are at least about 60 per cent capacity. So, you have to recapitalise, you have to put in critical parts,” he said.
Minister Mustapha said some $2.1 billion will go towards the Albion estate, $518 million will be invested at the Blairmont estate and $60 million will go towards the Uitvlugt estate.
The Government would also be injecting $10 million into operations at the Skeldon estate, while the Rose Hall estate would receive $746 million; Enmore estate, $533 million and the headquarters will receive $60 million, from the earmarked sum.
The Minister provided these details in response to a question about disbursement posed by Opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Khemraj Ramjattan.
“The intention of the APNU+AFC was to close the sugar industry…but Mr. Speaker, we will ensure that we increase production because we already started putting critical part in these estates,” Minister Mustapha said. He further explained that the $3 billion the Ministry received from the 2020 Emergency Budget was spent during the initial phase of reopening the closed mills. That sum, allocated to GuySuCo, will be used to revamp the sector in keeping with plans to make it profitable again over the next five years.