Irfaan Ali promises to re-open sugar estates
In his address to some 4000 supporters in Berbice Region 6 Saturday, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali promised to re-open the two sugar estates in Berbice if the Party is elected to office again.
“The first thing we are saying to you is that we are going to re-open the estates here in Region 6 and we must find the resources to compensate; to help some of those families that were destroyed, those families that felt the blunt of the closure of the estates. We must! And we will do it!” Ali said to thunderous applause.
Ali was at the time speaking at a public meeting held at Train Line Dam, Port Mourant Saturday evening where thousands of supporters throughout Berbice turned up.
“When we sat with the Government, we told them that you cannot make a decision on the sugar industry without a social and economic study because sugar is linked to every aspect of life in some of these regions…,” Ali said.
At the end of 2017, the Coalition Government closed estates at Rose Hall, Skeldon, Wales and Enmore. Only three estates are being kept in operation – at Albion in East Berbice, Blairmont in West Berbice and Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara.
The closure of the four sugar estates has left thousands without jobs.
In December 2017, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had promised sugar workers a monthly salary if the PPP is voted back into office.
Subsidies Back within one Month
Meanwhile, in addition to re-opening the sugar estates, Ali said that once the PPP elected to Government, the transportation grant, uniform allowance, subsidies on electricity and water will be restored within one month.
“Within the first month of Government, we will restore these benefits back to the people of our country. We don’t have to be a magician to do it. All we have to do is to cut out the waste in the existing budget. They waste dietary, they waste it in national travel, they waste in dakadallay; they waste in security services and we can take that very money and restore the benefits to the people of this country,” the Opposition Presidential Candidate promised.
Ali used the occasion to reiterate his gratefulness to the leadership of the Party for having confidence in him by electing him the Presidential Candidate.
“I shall not be moved by fear from whichever quarter it comes. I will stand here with your support, your strength, your energy in the interest of the people…We are united, the other comrades who contested are committed and dedicated, strong party comrades.
“This shows that the Party has the capacity. We have a team that is committed, strong, skilled, ready and the team that has the experience that would take our country, rebuild, restore and advance our country forward and we must all be proud because the PPP family includes all of us. We are one family united with a purpose, united in hope, in the aspirations for a better Guyana for all Guyanese.”