Coalition Govt has not abandoned the sugar industry & workers – Pres. Granger

– govt recognises importance of sugar industry

– downsizing was necessary to save the industry

– a plan is being developed to boost production

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 18, 2018

Sugar workers have not been abandoned to an uncertain future. This was the utterance of the Head of State as he addressed the opening of the 97th Sitting of the National Assembly of the First Session of the Eleventh Parliament, today.

“Your government inherited a sugar industry which was in dangerous decline.  Unsustainable and prohibitive production costs, declining production and unsound investments had placed the industry in a perilous state. Your government recognises the importance of the sugar industry. We are restructuring the industry. The measures which have been adopted – including estate consolidation and workforce downsizing – were necessary to save the industry.  We want to see a sustainable and viable industry – one that will contribute to national development and to workers’ well-being,” the Head of State reassured the National Assembly.

He reiterated that workers are at the “heart of the government’s decision” on the industry. He outlined plans to boost production in the remaining sugar estates. These include the training of sugar workers.

“The Guyana Sugar Corporation has installed a Board which met representatives of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). A plan is being developed to boost production in the remaining East Berbice, West Berbice and West Demerara Estates… The divestment of some of the sugar estates, which is expected to occur as early as the first half of 2019, will see some displaced workers being afforded the opportunity to regain employment.”

The Head of State assured that the Coalition administration will continue to work diligently to ensure that displaced workers are provided with opportunities to participate actively in other sectors of the economy, such as the production and processing of rice and other crops, livestock, fisheries, construction, manufacturing, services and mining.

During his address, the president highlighted gains made over the last three years and outlined the government plans, programmes and policies to stimulate growth in all of the sectors in pursuit of the good life.

A supplementary budgetary provision of $2.4BILLION was requested to pat the second half of the severance payments due to redundant workers.

Synieka Thorne.

Image: Jameel Mohamed.

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