The opposition People’s Progressive Party is livid at the Speaker of the National Assembly for his decision not to allow a motion seeking to debate the current state of the rice industry in Guyana.
In a statement the PPP said the Speaker gave his decision by saying that the rice industry is not a Government concern since government is not directly involved in the industry.
The opposition party said such a view by the Speaker makes it appears as though he is unaware that the rice industry still falls under the portfolio of the agriculture minister.
“The utter banality of the Speaker’s decision to prevent the debate on this motion of national importance is mind boggling”, the PPP statement said.
The part added that “the Speaker seems to be unaware of the responsibilities of the Government and its Ministers. The Official Gazette 87/2015 dated June 6, 2015 Notice “Ministries and Assignments of Responsibilities Among Minister” lists Minister Noel Holder, Minister of Agriculture’s responsibilities which include “ the rice industry” and “the Guyana Rice Development Board” (GRDB)!”
According to the PPP, the rice industry is regulated by a plethora of laws passed by this National Assembly and it is under the remit of a Minister responsible for the Sector to the National Assembly and by extension the nation and his responsibilities include the appointment of personnel to important entities connected to the Sector, for example, the GRDB.
“The party has rejected the speaker’s decision and is calling on him to rethink his position on not allowing the debate on the rice sector.”
The rice industry saw mixed fortunes in 2015. As production increased, earnings decreased following the loss of the Venezuelan market. The government has been assisting rice companies to find new markets.