[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has noted its concern over the continued government subventions being offered to the rice and sugar industries in Guyana.
The APNU+AFC government in its maiden budget allocated a combined total of $35B to both of the sectors with rice having $23B and the sugar industry benefitting from a $12B subvention.
Over the years, both industries benefitted from hefty government subventions.
“It would be indeed unfortunate if the nation is faced with continuing to provide subventions of this size. The need to decide whether or not GUYSUCO can operate under an economic model that can contribute to the national economy is paramount,” a release from the private sector Body stated.
It also noted that “this concern also pertains to the rice industry in terms of its ability to compete pricewise on the international markets. The Chamber would also urge that a review of the functions and overall effectiveness of the GRDB (Guyana Rice Development Board) should be part of the support given to the industry. We can ill afford to run the risk of subsidizing rice as well.”
Referring to other provisions in the 2015 Budget, GCCI says that it provides the clearest picture of the administration’s intentions. It was noted that while the government has committed to the enacting legislation for e-commerce/e-transactions, the recognition of electronic signatures for document certification and data protections, there is need for a definitive commitment on the modernization of intellectual legislation.
“We must comment however that at $G221 billion, this is a fairly large budget, especially when one considers that there are only about four and a half months left in the year. The Chamber is hopes that therefore that all agencies understand that there must be an agile procurement and project implementation process to ensure that these funds are spent effectively,” the release noted.