Land Sales Committee set up for sale of sugar lands; largest transfer of State assets in recent years  

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The Government has established a Land Sales Committee to ensure transparency in the disposable of lands once used by the sugar estates the Government has shut down.

Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon said that the valuation of the assets of the closed estates by the international financial firm PricewaterhouseCoopers took “quite a while.”

Because of this “exceptional amount of time for surveys and valuation of assets” he said some of the investor interest was lost and so there will be efforts to establish contact with some of those parties.

He said that the sale of lands is intended to raise additional funds to ensure the existing estates are economically viable.

Harmon said that because this will be the largest transfer of assets from the State to the private sector in recent times, there was need for the committee to ensure all transactions are done above board.

As of December 31, 2017, the assets of the closed estates – Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore were transferred to the Government’s asset-holding and investment arm NICIL.

The divestment of the GuySuCo assets are being managed by a Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of NICIL.

A total of $30 billion was raised through a syndicated bond solely on the Government’s promise to repay investors within five years – if the money is not repaid by NICIL.

GuySuCo currently has only three estates in operation, namely Albion in Berbice, Blairmont in West Coast Berbice and Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara.

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