Just three months after the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was allocated the sum of $3 billion, the government returned to the National Assembly on Monday requesting an additional $4 billion.
While the previous $3 billion was to recapitalize the three estates closed by the former APNU+AFC government at Rose Hall, Skeldon, and Enmore, the $4 billion requested Monday will support the recapitalization of the three operating estates at Blairmont, Albion and Uitvlugt.
Up against intense scrutiny from the APNU+AFC parliamentary opposition, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha told the National Assembly on Monday that because of the neglect, the three operating estates were subjected to over the last five years, critical capital works had become necessary.
“If you go around the three operating estates you will realize that they are operating at 60 percent capacity… so you have to recapitalize to put in critical parts,” Mustapha told the House.
The Minister in his response to questions from Opposition MP Khemraj Ramjattan on the urgent need for the spending when a national budget was recently passed and another is expected within weeks, said that it was a direct response to the neglect of the former government.
Mustapha said the estates were mistreated by the former government and the inefficiency was only determined in subsequent assessments after the 2020 budget was passed.
He said as a matter of policy, the PPP/C government remains committed to returning GuySuCo to profitability and will invest to ensure it happens.
While assuring that the previous $3 billion went to the purposes intended, Mustapha said the $4 billion will bring the operating estates to a break-even point and eventually on the road to profitability.
The 2020 National Budget had also made a provision of an additional $2 billion which the government had said is support to allow for the financial outlay required towards the reopening of estates.
The Government has started the process to reopen sugar estates closed by the former APNU+AFC Government.
The APNU+AFC Government had closed estates at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara, Rose Hall and Skeldon in Region Six and Enmore, East Coast Demerara.