Former administration deceived nation on subsidies to GuySuCo – Min. Jaipaul Sharma

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, in his address to redundant sugar workers Friday last, said the former administration misled the nation on subsidies to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).

Jaipaul Sharma, Minister within the Ministry of Finance.

“The PPP [People’s Progressive Party] didn’t bailout GuySuCo by $16.1B as the nation knows from the estimates presented to the national assembly, but they secretly bailed them out by an additional US$20M or $4B by way of creating the Skeldon Energy Incorporated. So, revising the PPP’s figure of $16.1B in 48 months to add $4B that makes it $20.1 B in 48 months,” Minister Sharma explained.

The Minister further outlined the methods used by the former administration to deceive the nation regarding the state of the ailing corporation.

“In 2010, there was a serious problem with the co-generation plant. That would have caused the demise of Skeldon, the modern factory. So, what the PPP did, instead of coming to the National Assembly and asking for additional funds to fix the co-gen plant, they devised the idea to form this company called Skeldon Energy Incorporated. They said they were going to sell the generating set for US$30M. That was a bailout that they didn’t want to tell the people about,” Minister Sharma added.

He further noted that the previous administration asked the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Incorporated (NICIL) to invest US5M into the venture, this was then followed by a request to Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) to expend $4.5M towards the factory. This was made even worse by a further request to GPL “secretively” lend the Skeldon factory another US$11M, which Minister Sharma described as an “all indirect bailout”.

The junior Finance Minister explained that the manner in which the former administration dealt with the challenges of the cash-strapped sugar corporation was all intended to deceive the nation and international community; after having invested heavily in the Skeldon sugar modernization project and was unable to turn the fortunes of the industry around.

“They didn’t want the nation to know the truth, they didn’t want you to know the truth, they didn’t want the international community to know the truth,” Sharma declared.

 

By: Kidackie Amsterdam

 

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