Minister Bharrat says sugar industry employs all ethnicities – refutes opposition’s claims

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat M.P, said government is building back sugar because it is benefitting all Guyanese. He chided the opposition APNU+AFC on its claims that financial support is only given to the industry, because only one ethnicity is employed there.

“…but that is a figment of their imagination” the minister asserted Thursday, as he defended the $552.9 billion national budget in the National Assembly.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat M.P

Minister Bharrat opined that such statements should not be used to gain political points. 

“If you look at the work force, GuySuCo is very diverse. Sugar workers are not one race only, every Guyanese of all race works at GuySuCo, but there is this perception in their heads that only one set of people work with GuySuCo and that is why the PPP is putting money in GuySuCo.”

The minister stressed that the opposition should cease from the fallacies it continues to peddle.

“Mr. Speaker, they need to go and check the order lines. It is Guyanese of all walks of life that work at GuySuCo and that is why we are building back sugar, because it is benefitting Guyana and Guyanese,” he stressed.

The PPP/C Administration has been making significant strides to turn around the sugar industry’s field and factory operations. It is against this backdrop that some $6 billion has been allocated to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) this year.

In anticipation of improved production levels, GuySuCo will be concentrating its marketing efforts on shifting from the low-value bulk-sugar markets to more bagged and packaged sugar products.

Over 5,000 sugar workers who were severed from their jobs during the APNU+AFC Coalition’s time in government received cash grants of $250,000 in 2021. About 1,300 persons have been reemployed with GuySuCo and are now able to provide a livelihood for their families.

Minister Bharrat, meanwhile, also spoke of the remarkable contributions government has made since assuming office on August 2, 2020, which he believes, contributed to the lives of all citizens.

“It pains me, Mr. Speaker, because it is not true. Is it that only one set of children will get the cash grant? Is it only one set of people will go to the six new hospitals that we are going to build? Mr. Speaker, is it one set of people that will benefit from the local content legislation? Mr. speaker all Guyana will benefit,” the natural resources minister pointed out.