Georgetown, Guyana – (February 3, 2017) The Government will review and consider all proposals put forward by the Parliamentary Opposition, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), the Guyana Agricultural and Workers’ Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) to determine the course of action for the future of the Corporation GuySuCo in the interest of all stakeholders.
That was the reassurance given by Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan when the Government continued its consultations with the stakeholders today at the Ministry of Agriculture. At the meeting, it was decided that the proposals from the stakeholders will be provided by February 17, 2017 for review and consideration.
The Government team was led by Vice President Ramjattan and included Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Noel Holder, Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally and Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Jaipaul Sharma while the Opposition team was led by Mr. Irfaan Ali and Mr. Juan Edghill. GAWU and NAACIE were represented by their Heads, Mr. Komal Chand and Mr. Kenneth Joseph, respectively. Representatives from the various sugar estates including Wales, Albion, Skeldon, Enmore and Uitvlugt were also present.
Head of the Guyana Agricultural and Workers' Union (GAWU), Mr. Komal Chand making a point to the Government team during the meeting
During the meeting, requests for additional information and documents on GuySuCo were made by the Opposition and the Unions and the Government has given the assurance that these will be provided in the current week to allow for the organisations to peruse, research and come up with their recommendations, which will be presented on February 17 when the third meeting will be held. Minister Ramjattan admitted that these documents should have been provided ahead of today’s meeting and said Government is working to correct that situation and avoid any such delays going forward.
“We are going to share those documents. We have to listen to them because they are major stakeholders and knowing the President and how he dealt with this issue in Cabinet, he would like them to get as much information and to come up with their proposals. We are going to ensure that they can get all that we possibly provide by Tuesday and they will have days to come up with their proposals. This is not a perennial negotiation. It was not intended to be like that. It is the sharing of information, sharing our proposals but we are not going to do anything until we meet with them and hear their proposals… That is why we are not going to move into anything of a decision making character until we hear their proposals,” Minister Ramjattan committed.
In 2016, Cabinet took the decision at its last sitting, to have the consultations begin at the soonest possible time to ensure that the best interest of all stakeholders will be considered. The first meeting was held on December 31, 2016.