Cash-strapped GuySuCo to sell several more acres of transported land

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* inclusive of vacant properties at Ogle

The cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is gearing up to dispose of more of its transported lands, in a bid to secure cash for its operations.

Dr Clive Thomas

Dr Clive Thomas

The Sugar Corporation has advertised for sale several acres of land, inclusive of vacant properties at Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD), where the entity houses its headquarters.
In inviting bids, GuySuCo said it was looking to sell portions of its transported freehold lands situated at Mandela Avenue, Georgetown, Liliendaal and Ogle, ECD.
Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, Professor Clive Thomas, had earlier alluded to the fact, notwithstanding, that the entity had asked for a sum of $12 billion this year and had received $9 billion, a review was ongoing to see how best it could utilise its considerable land holdings – a significant portion of which is unused.
He is quoted in sections of the media as saying, “What we are trying to do is to use land sales as an important means of financing over the next four to five years… we are looking at our land holdings to see what is possible, then we will decide on how to structure the sales.”
According to Professor Thomas, “We asked for $12 billion this year and we got $9 billion… the rest has to be supplied by land sales.”
Meanwhile, the entity is slated to receive another $3 billion in subsidy, in addition to the $9 billion it had received earlier in the year when Finance Minister Winston Jordan presented the 2016 Budget.
Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) President Patrick Yarde told the opening of the General Council that the Union’s delegation “in the current negotiations on wages, salaries and allowances was notified that a further $3 billion is to be provided to GuySuCo”.
The transfer, when effected, will mean the cash-strapped company would have been supported to the tune of $12 billion.
This past week, President David Granger had alluded to the bailout of GuySuCo as among the reasons Government was constrained in making a bigger offer to public servants.
According to the Head of State, GuySuCo is being bailed out to the tune of $10 billion annually and this is in addition to the problems being faced with the falling prices for sugar, gold and bauxite, some of Guyana’s main revenue earners.
GUYSUCOGuySuCo has already recorded a whopping $6 billion deficit in its accounts for the first half of 2016, but this has been masked by the $9 billion subsidy that was handed to the beleaguered entity by Government.
In fact, while the $9 billion transferred was earmarked for the Corporation to be disbursed for the entire year, all of the money has already been transferred.
Finance Minister Jordan had documented in his 2016 Mid-Year Report that the reason the allocation was disbursed in its entirety by the end of June 2016 was “because of a deterioration in the Corporation’s cash balances that was due to a severe shortfall in production”.
The subsidy that was transferred to GuySuCo has in fact allowed the company to record in its books an operating surplus of $2.9 billion, down from an operating surplus of $3 billion for the corresponding period last year.

(Guyana Times)

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