Reopening of Rose Hall Estate to put more disposable income into Region Six economy – GS Jagdeo
With the Rose Hall estate expected to reopen in September, General Secretary, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has said that government’s investments in the estate are aimed at pumping more disposable income into the region’s economy.
Recognising that the sugar industry was one of the main economic drivers for the Berbice county, the GS recalled the closure of the estate and the economic breakdown that resulted.
“The sugar workers’ income served as the driving force for the local economy because the taxi drivers, the vendors in the stores, and in the market, almost everything depended on the sugar workers’ income. When we had a massive withdrawal of that income, we saw economic activities plunging and joblessness rates skyrocketing in Berbice. People were losing hope. So, our strategy has been to put more disposable income back into the economy,” the GS told members of the media at a press conference at Freedom House on Thursday.
He pointed out that the government’s spending is intended to bolster private economic activity, hence this investment in reopening the estate.
“Re-employing the sugar workers is part of restoring not only the sugar industry but the entire economy in Berbice,” he said.
The Rose Hall estate was shut down in 2017 by the previous government. The reopening of this estate was one of the PPP/C government’s manifesto promises, as part of a comprehensive plan to revitalise the industry.
Approximately 1,100 workers have been reemployed.
Recently, the National Assembly approved supplementary funding of $1. 5 billion to provide additional resources to facilitate the rehabilitation of 1,572 hectares of land at the Albion, Blairmont, Rose Hall and Uitvlugt Estates.
Meanwhile, another measure implemented by the government to bolster the economy in the county is the part-time jobs initiative.
“The part-time jobs take about $2 billion into the economy, in the region per annum. So, you will see a lot more economic activities taking place in these areas. It appears that the strategy is working, and we are looking to diversify into other areas,” Dr Jagdeo relayed.