Amidst criticism for its decision to close the Wales Estate, Government has justified its action, pointing out that the decision was taken ahead of the report from the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) being completed.
Speaking at the post cabinet briefing on Wednesday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon disclosed that the decision to shut down the estate was contained in GuySuCo’s Budget and 2016 Action plan, which was developed during the course of 2015.
“Therefore, (the decision) did not bear any specific relationship to the Commission of Inquiry into GuySuCo,” he said. Harmon added that the decision was taken by GuySuCo’s Management and Board of Directors after taking into account the many issues that exist at the factory which includes the high operational cost.
The Minister said, “it became an economic nightmare to really continue to do the things the way they’ve been doing it before”.
On Monday, the Government through the Agriculture Ministry announced via a media statement that the Wales estate would be closed by the end of the second crop for 2016.
Following this announcement, hundreds of sugar workers, cane farmers and their families turned up at the market square near the Wales’ sugar estate on Tuesday to air their concerns and vent their frustration to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
Mr Jagdeo pledged his Party’s support to the residents of Region Three to oppose the closure of the Wales’ estate which would have an adverse impact on both the livelihoods of thousands, as well as the country’s economy.