No special treatment for Bai Shan Lin – Commissioner Singh

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – Bai Shan Lin does not possess close to 1 million hectares of forestry lands and contrary to reports, Commissioner of Forests, James Singh said that the Company has access to 345, 000 hectares for State Forest Exploratory Permit.

Singh was at the time addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources on Monday, July 14.

However, he pointed out that the company also enjoys joint ventures with several Guyanese companies. This he made clear is not ownership but allowed under the laws of Guyana. Singh noted that other companies have similar arrangements and is part of an effort to stimulate investment and recapitalisation in the forestry sector.

Commissioner, James Singh.
Commissioner, James Singh.

He further explained that lumber and logs cannot be exported with a State Forest Exploratory Permit, only Timber Sales Agreement could allow for the exportation of logs and lumber. Bai Shan Lin has joint ventures with several companies with Timber Sales Agreement for which facilitates the export of logs and lumber.

Commissioner Singh also refuted any notion that the company was not complying with its obligations under the Forest Act as well as under the Mining and EPA Act.

Representatives from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Guyana Forestry Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency in their response to questions yesterday said that Bai Shan Lin like any other company will be subjected to scrutiny and debunked any suggestion of special treatment.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Joslyn McKenzie rejected any assertions that members of the sub committed were prevented from visiting the operation.

A letter from McKenzie dated June 19, 2014 stated: “The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment would like to explicitly state that Bai Shan Lin is a private company and the Ministry has no authority to determine who visits their locations. The Natural Resources Sectoral Committee is free to pursue its request to visit the workplaces of the said Company”.

Bai Shan Lin has interest in the housing, mining and forest sectors and is one of the leading Chinese companies under the Guyana/ China investment relations.

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