The new PPP Civic government which campaigned on the promise of reopening the sugar estates that were closed under the previous government is not setting any timeline for any such reopening.
Minister of Agriculture Zulficar Mustapha during a virtual press conference today said the situation will have to be properly assessed before any timeline could be set to keep that campaign promise.
“I can’t give you an exact time but these things we will have to work along to ensure that we establish the financial status of NICIL and Gysuco in terms of $30B we have to also look that GySuco get back their assets and we have to do a conditional survey” Minister Mustapha noted
He explained that although a timeline cannot be set at this stage, the reopening of the estates is a priority for the new government.
“We have to also do a conditional survey at the various estate, this thing of which I’m saying about, these things will not take too much time to happen …and I was very Harten Saturday in his excellent inauguration speech, he mentions that the opening of the sugar estate is high of his priority list for the people progressive party civic(PPP/C)”, Mustapha said.
The sugar industry in Guyana has been on the decline for the past decade and a half ever since the European union slashed the price for sugar under the previous PPP government.
The last APNU+AFC government closed three of the estates as the situation in the sugar industry worsened three years ago.
The unions representing sugar workers were critical of the closure while mindful of the challenges that were facing the industry. They are now hopeful that the PPP government will be able to reopen the estates.