[www.inewsguyana.com] – Repaying its debt of over $10B could be possible for the Guyana Sugar Cooperation (GUYSUCO) by the completion of its first crop of 2014.
This announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy following initial reports in the media which stated that GUYSUCO was in debt surmounting $10B. He also confirmed this to be true, adding that the money was owed to banks and suppliers.
He said that there is no need for an alarm. Ramsammy is in no doubt that the Cooperation will not be able to repay its debt by the stipulated time. The Agriculture Minister explained that much of the monies owed by GUYSUCO to various debtors are associated with commodities bought in 2013 and payment for work in the fields.
“While the sum looks huge, we are also looking at a business that generates and utilize large amounts of money so that it is not a sum of money that GUYSUCO cannot absorb. Once GUYSUCO grinding starts again and sugar is produced, it will quickly remove that” he added.
The Minister further explained that that the Enmore and Skeldon Estates are scheduled to begin grinding cane during the third week of January. The Cooperation is hoping to achieve a target of 70,000 tonnes of sugar for the first crop of 2014.
“We are hoping that this first crop will be one where GUYSUCO will have the full amount of time which is a 12 to 13 week operation and with production which takes us into May and June.”
GUYSUCO was allocated $1B last year’s in the National Budget while an additional $4B was approved at the end of the year to meet additional expenses.
These included the payment of salary increases that GUYSUCO could not afford, including the Annual Production Incentive (API), holiday payments, and increases negotiated by the unions.