GINA, GUYANA, Friday, January 06, 2017
Decisions taken, pertaining to the future of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) must be in the best interest of all Guyanese, more importantly the stakeholders of the sugar industry. This was emphasised today, by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
The Minister told media personnel today, at a post -Cabinet press briefing, that Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan spearheaded the first consultation session between the government and key national stakeholders including the Parliamentary Opposition, Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) along with of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) and various estate representatives. This meeting was held on December 31.
“The Government side shared documents relating to the state of the sugar industry and the possible options regarding the future of GuySuCo. The documents were shared with the stakeholders, and it was agreed that they will be given an opportunity to peruse the documents, and that another meeting will be held shortly. This meeting came out of a decision of the Cabinet of Guyana having considered some options which have been put to it that it was in the best interest in all of Guyana that the national stakeholders be part of a meaningful consultation,” Minister Harmon explained.
The consultation was part of a process which the Government has undertaken to ensure that, “through these negotiations, these consultations we will arrive at a decision that is in the best interest, not only the financial interest, but the economic, the cultural, the religious, the social circumstances which affect the workers in the industry (and) their families,” the minister added.
Harmon pointed out that as these factors are taken into consideration, it is hoped that the importance for a decision to be made will contribute to the accuracy and efficiency of the consultation process.
The findings of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into GuySuco were laid in the National Assembly in December 2015 by Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder who explained that the government has “taken the decision to facilitate the widest possible consultations with all stakeholders in the charting of GuySuco’s future.”
The report of the CoI into the industry recommended among others, that the state owned entity should be privatised, incorporated and regulated under the Companies Act while management of the corporation focus on basic essentials to rehabilitate the fields, factories and infrastructure of GuySuCo.
By: Delicia Haynes