My View

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By Don­ald Ramo­tar By Don­ald Ramo­tar

On

eve of the APNU tak­ing power here in Guyana, oil was found in com­mer­cial quan­ti­ties. It is one of the largest finds in re­cent times. Un­der­stand­ably, the new regime is ec­static at this find. In­deed, they seem to be think­ing that this is the an­swer to all our prob­lems.

This find is most likely one of the fac­tors that has in­flu­enced their de­ci­sion in re­la­tion to the su­gar in­dus­try.

Their old ha­tred for su­gar work­ers has resur­faced and they have an­nounced that they are clos­ing sev­eral es­tates.

The in­ten­tion is to shut the whole in­dus­try down.

This de­ci­sion to dec­i­mate and close the in­dus­try was taken even though the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (CoI) that they set up did not rec­om­mend any clo­sure.

It is clear that the regime be­lieves that oil will more than com­pen­sate for the loss of rev­enue from the closed/ dec­i­mated su­gar in­dus­try. They, there­fore, de­cided to aban­don the plan to re-struc­ture and re-vi­tal­ize the in­dus­try.

This will prove to be a colossal mis­take - one which Guyanese will suf­fer great pains both now and in the fu­ture.

If one was to ex­am­ine the sit­u­a­tion in oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries world­wide, one would find that coun­tries which are very heav­ily de­pen­dent on oil rev­enues are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing great eco­nomic dif­fi­cul­ties. Some have ma­jor po­lit­i­cal prob­lems as well be­cause of the hard­ship flow­ing from loss of oil rev­enues.

We don’t have to look very far to prove this. A Caribbean De­vel­op­ment Bank Se­nior Econ­o­mist re­cently re­leased an opin­ion in which grave con­cerns were ex­pressed about the eco­nomic dif­fi­cul­ties that Trinidad and Tobago is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing be­cause of the fall in oil rev­enues.

Venezuela’s econ­omy is

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