EYEWITNESS: Out of the loop…


…thrown for a loop?

Or just plain loopy? Your Eyewitness is trying to digest the emanations from the erstwhile Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder, on GuySuCo and the GuySuCo $30 billion bond. He’s not sure why the Minister’s getting his bukta in a knot about the bond – when he couldn’t be bothered to even to talk to sugar workers when the Government was shutting down four estates. So now that money’s floating around, he wants to “be in the loop”??

Whatever in the world for?? Certainly not for anything agriculturally related, since it has become clear over the past three years that he wouldn’t know an agriculture-related issue if it snuck up behind him and bit him “right there”!! For instance, how come he still hasn’t said anything about the rice rejected and returned by Panama?

Holder’s miffed that the bond money hasn’t been turned over to GuySuCo by the SPU that floated it. But why? Doesn’t the fact that the $2 billion advanced was blown away in “operational expenses” – which included salaries and interest payments on previous loans! – give him a clue why the SPU might be skittish? After all, the SPU was very clear why it needed the money: to fund two co-generation facilities, upgrade the existing sugar factories to produce white sugar, restructure debt, and employee training.

As matter stands, Republic Bank has already placed a halt on any further disbursements since the terms of the bond forbid SERVICING of debt – especially to other banks!! That companies usually sell bonds to the public rather than take loans from banks, because they’re not then tied down by such restrictions is grist for another mill!! Clearly, the SPU wants to use the $30 billion for STRATEGIC investments in sugar – and don’t intend to have GuySuCo execute the identified projects.

But if Holder knew even the slightest thing about sugar, he’s know that none of those projects can be successful, unless SUGAR is first produced!! And he’d have said that rather than engage in his ridiculous pouting and stamping of his feet! The constraint on sugar production has been obsolete factories and poor agricultural practices in the cane fields – and both of these need capital to overcome.

This is what the sugar CoI had recommended in the first place. And if Holder had argued in Cabinet for this and against the President’s unilateral decision to shut down those four estates and fire 7000 workers, he wouldn’t have to throwing hissy fits now. But Holder’s tantrum highlights what any objective observer would conclude: this Government is determined to destroy the Opposition’s strongest bloc of supporters before the 2020 elections.

It’s all about politics and loopy Holder is on the way out!!

…on GRDB also?

As your Eyewitness asked above, why didn’t Agriculture Minister Holder comment on the return of 20 containers of rice by Panama – the only export market paying a decent price? Your Eyewitness will tell you why – because he doesn’t have a clue about the sector he’s responsibility for. So, it’s a case of ‘do wha’ yuh wan’ fuh do!” across his entire portfolio.

The Panamanians said the rice shipped wasn’t up to standard. So who’s supposed to ensure rice of the proper standard is shipped? Well the GRDB! They get US$6 for every tonne of rice exported – so when we exported 500,000 tonnes last year, they received US$3 million or GY$600 million! Now you’d think with all this money, the GRDB would have quality control checks, wouldn’t you? And it does! So what’s going on?

Well, with Holder as Minister and absolutely no scrutiny from above, the GRDB head honcho Hussain – who’s been in more hot water than parboiled rice! – just does his thing!

…on targeted crime

If anyone can legitimately complain about being “kept out of the loop” it’s Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan. President Granger keeps control while Ramjattan’s reduced to making distinctions without differences about whether Chinese businesses are targeted or not!!


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