Budget 2021 earmarks $2B critical capital works at GuySuCo

This year’s Budget provides an allocation of some $2 billion for critical capital works at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, made this announcement during his Budget presentation to the 18th Sitting of the National Assembly at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Friday.

Dr. Ashni Singh, Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance

The additional funds would significantly propel the Government’s efforts to diversify the sugar sector which nosedived under the APNU+AFC Government. GuySuCo has started major rehabilitation works at several sugar mills to improve its efficiency and productivity even as it prepares for the first crop of 2021.

On Monday, GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sasenarine Singh said the corporation is rapidly addressing all challenges to ensure it meets the 97,240 metric tonnes of sugar this year. The industry is also expected to produce some 42,609 metric tonnes of sugar during the first crop scheduled to start by February 20.

The Corporation is also focusing on the preparation and enhancement of lands ahead of the production season. As progress continues this year, the entity will be paid a higher price for its molasses through a one-year agreement signed by Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).

GuySuCo secured US$30 per metric tonnes increase on prices from its Trinidad market. Additionally, the market in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has expanded and negotiations to restart sales to Grenada have begun.

During his presentation, Dr. Singh said the APNU+AFC showed no concern for the sugar industry and left the sector in a “callous state.”

“We shall continue to work with all stakeholders including the private sector to ensure the viability of this industry is preserved.  Work is currently ongoing to create a master plan, estate by estate, to guide the future of the industry.

Possible elements of that master plan are currently being considered and include the following; GuySuCo could concentrate increasingly on redirecting its efforts towards an optimised product mix, shift away from the current low-value bulk sugar market. In this regard, the Corporation can quadruple its sale into the packaged sugar market, both locally and internationally over the next five years,” he said.

Dr. Singh added that the Blairmont Packaging Plant could be expanded with three new packaging machines and the expansion of the storage bond so that inventory could be available at all times to service the international market.

Further, he noted that the Enmore Packaging Plant could also be expanded to five operational packaging lines.

The $383.1 billion Budget was presented under the theme, “A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism and Resilience.” 

CATEGORIES
TAGS

COVID-19 Alert!

Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.