The current political climate is affecting the privitisation of sugar estates according to Finance Minister, Winston Jordan.
“Nobody is expressing interest,” the Minister said at a news conference Wednesday.
He said this is as a result of comments made by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo that if the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is re-elected to office, it will review all agreements signed by the APNU+AFC Government after the No-Confidence motion was passed on December 21, 2018.
“When the Opposition says we are going to review sales and so on, and that happen in the past too, where people pull out, they don’t express interest where there’s that atmosphere of uncertainty. This review [is] another word for harassment,” the Finance Minister told the media.
Jordan says he understands why investors are skeptical given the comments by the Opposition Leader.
“If I was an investor, I’ll say ok ok and I’ll pull my horse out of the race and wait until the next round of the race and I think this is what investors do…they aren’t going to take chances,” the Finance Minister explained.
Following the closure of the Wales, Rose Hall, and Skeldon sugar estates, the properties were taken over by the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of the Government’s privatisation arm, NICIL which was seeking investors.
In October 2018, the SPU reported that approximately 14 investors from Trinidad, Canada and Guyana met with officials on the privatisation of the three sugar estates.
However, it seems that those investors have changed their minds.
The Finance Minister also noted that given the interim status of the Government, it will not be pushing to engage in any major privatisation.
The Government was thrown into an interim status when the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled in June that the December 21 No-Confidence motion was validly passed