Demise of GuySuCo is a PPP engineered problem- Min. Ferguson

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, December 07, 2017

“The demise of the Guyana Sugar Company (GuySuCo) is a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) engineered problem and has nothing to do with this APNU-AFC government!” exclaimed Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson during her defence of the 2018 Budget today.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson.

The Minister said that the previous administration failed GuySuCo miserably, and the sugar industry has under-performed and existing on life-support under their tenure.

“I admonish them to stop this Judas politics – betraying and misleading the Guyanese, on whose fault it is with GuySuCo. After giving us an ailing GuySuCo, it is shameful today that the PPP/C should show up here and lecture to us in this House and tell us, how and what must be done for GuySuCo; after having ample time to fix it and they have failed!” Minister Ferguson emphasised.

The Minister continued that billions of dollars were invested in GuySuCo, but there was no return on the investment made.  She further alluded to the 2004 budget under the previous administration, highlighting that it introduced the Skeldon modernisation project, “the then Minister of Finance said on page 23 of his speech ‘the management of GuySuCo will continue to implement the strategic plan…the plan envisages GuySuCo increasing production to around 450,000 tonnes of sugar and lower costs from the current average of US17 cents per pound to about US9 cents per pound by 2007.”

She noted that “Three years later, in the PPP/C 2007 Budget, the Minister of Finance reported that the sugar production target of 315,000 tonnes was not achieved. A Simple calculation will show that the PPP/C was a long way from reaching their 450,000 tonnes target.”

Minister Ferguson then gave the PPP/C administration an “F” grade on the state of affairs of GuySuCo. She blamed the previous administration for fabricating “glorious numbers” concerning the Skeldon Factory and what was purported produce.

“This government is supporting GuySuCo through annual bailouts,” Minister Ferguson stated, confidently adding that the government will continue to do great things for the sugar industry and its workers.

GuySuCo has been allocated some $6.3 billion to support its reduced operations in 2018, another $5B has been set aside to pay severance to almost 4,000 laid off workers, and another 10,000 workers will be employed at the three remaining estates – Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt.

Minister Ferguson said the 2018 Budget builds on the foundation that was already laid in three previous budgets and is one that is practical and presents workable strategies to transform and develop Guyana.

“It is only if your vision is clouded or you are playing partisan politics that you will not see nor understand the merits of Budget 2018,” the Minister stated.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

 

 

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