By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com]– The operations of the Guyana Sugar Company (GuySuCo) for the next four months will be significantly boosted with a $12B subsidy from the Government of Guyana as presented in the 2015 National Budget.
This subsidy under the APNU+AFC administration represents double of what was given to the sugar company in 2014 by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration.
On average, the government of Guyana has had to pump between $4B and $5B yearly into the troubled industry, which is currently the subject of a Commission of Inquiry.
Finance Minister, Winston Jordan revealed on Monday August 10, during the Budget presentation that between 2008-2013, annual sugar production, which averaged 220,362 tonnes, was considerably below the average production level of 286,084 tonnes for the preceding period 2000-2007.
In 2013 only 186,770 tonnes were produced, a modest target of 215,910 tonnes was set for 2014. The final outturn for 2014 was 216,186 tonnes.
It was noted too that sugar export receipts fell by 22.9% to US$88 million.
An 18.3% increase in export volume, to 189,565 tonnes, was insufficient to compensate for the 34.8% decline in prices, to US$464.30 per tonne.
The government has already raised concerns that any prolonged decline in commodity prices, especially for gold and sugar, could pose risks to the economy’s growth forecast.
“We remain sanguine, however, that with the recent downward movement in the price of oil, the likely negative effects on the economy can be attenuated,” said Jordan.