By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has revealed that the $3B that is being transferred from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to the Central Housing and Planning Authority will be used to provide further aid to the ailing sugar industry.
Jagdeo, at a press conference on Tuesday, March 10 made it clear that none of the monies taken from GGMC will be used for electioneering purposes as was alleged by members of Guyana’s political opposition ranks.
According to the Former President, the $3B will be used to buy some 1000 acres of land from the Guyana Sugar Company (GuySuCo) and the land will in turn be used to develop some 5000 house lots.
iNews had reported that Cabinet cancelled the initial $3B loan to the GGMC and has since ordered that the funds be directly transferred.
According to information received, the funds will be used to support the development of housing infrastructure projects in mining communities other areas where miners’ settlement occur.
However, Jagdeo said that the funds will go to “Housing and Housing uses it to buy the land to secure the 1000 acres of lands…these funds are State funds, they do not belong to any mining sector…”
The former President explained that the monies being paid for the lands will help the sugar company which has had to consistently scale back on sugar production targets.
“Not a cent of this money will go to Dr Ashni Singh, Robert Persaud or Irfaan Ali…it will help GuySuCo get over this difficult period,” Jagdeo declared.
He also accused the Opposition of wanting to close the sugar industry but was very stern in saying that this will not be the case and sugar will weather its current storm.
“They are really saying to the sugar workers that the industry should collapse…..this government will not allow sugar to collapse…(they are arguing) not that anyone would steal the money…they are arguing about procedures,” Jagdeo said.
Referring to allegations that the GGMC runs a parallel treasury, Jagdeo confirmed that the GGMC Act allows for the mining Body to have more than one account, but stopped short of confirming or denying whether this was the case.
He said that former Finance Minister Carl Greenidge and Former Auditor General Anand Goolsaran are well aware of this stipulation yet they choose to mislead the nation into thinking that it is an illegality.
He said “it shocks me…the duplicity, the barefacedness of this whole thing. The shameless belief that we all have such short memories; I don’t.”