Privatization, overall closure among options presented to Cabinet for GuySuCo’s future
A number of options on the way forward for the sugar industry were presented to members of Cabinet on Tuesday last. Speaking on the discussions that occurred in this regard between Government and the team from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Harmon said that the officials presented a number of alternatives regarding the way forward with the sector. The Minister of State declined however to reveal what those options were. However, Kaieteur News was able to confirm from two Government Ministers that the options up for consideration include privatization as recommended in the Commission of Inquiry into GuySuCo and the most extreme being the closure of the sector. According to the COI report, it was recommended that the process of privatization should start as early as practicable with an aim to be completed within a three-year period. As a consequence, the report said that the state should divest itself of all assets, activities and operations currently associated with GuySuCo.
The future of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the need for a turnaround plan were high on Cabinet’s agenda and was a topic of discussion last week. Harmon, during a post cabinet press briefing, told reporters that some decisions regarding the sector will have to be made by year end. The politician recalled that after the presentation of the COI report on GuySuCo, Cabinet was briefed by the Commissioners. From that meeting, Harmon said that Cabinet outlined a five-point approach to address the issues raised by the Commission of Inquiry. The subcommittee is expected to complete and present its report to Cabinet within two weeks. The members of the subcommittee include Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder; Finance Minister, Winston Jordan; Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman; and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Minister Harmon asked to specify what options were presented by the GuySuCo team and if one of those included the closure of more sugar estates, said, “There are options…and we are in the process of deliberations on these options.”