Opposition voting against sugar subsidy will have serious implications –MPs

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Some government Parliamentarians.
Some government Parliamentarians.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – In recapping the week of debate on the 2014 National Budget, a panel of members on the Government side of the House felt that the debate on the part of the PPPC Members was of a high quality, and a lot of the statements of the opposition were loaded with innuendos, according to the Government Information Agency.

“For the talk about a new dispensation and compromise, the opposition buckled, and they owe us  one, they should let this budget go ahead,” said Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.

This view was expressed by the Prime Minister when he joined Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, PPP MP, Manzoor Nadir and Presidential Advisor Odinga Lumumba, in discussing the presentations on a programme on the National Communications Network on Sunday, April 07.

Reacting to a clip of APNU Member, Carl Greenidge’s presentation during the budget debate on the sugar sector, Agriculture Minister Dr. Ramsammy said that sugar was on its death bed and the present government “brought it back”.

“It was unfortunate that the previous government extracted much from the industry, but didn’t reinvest it the sector,” Minister Ramsammy noted.   

Touching on the sugar price drop of 43% by the European Union (EU) preferential markets and the impacts by on-going climate change, the minister said that while Skeldon has not performed as expected, money allocated in the present and previous budgets was needed to repair and revive the industry. He noted that the first crop has surpassed the crop figures for 2013 and this is evidence that the industry is turning around.

“I believe that we are doing what is necessary, and I would hope that the APNU and the AFC are not going to do anything to jeopardise this”.

The industry was allocated $6B in the budget.  Meanwhile,  Lumumba said that sugar has wide reaching effects and in addition to sugar workers, there are over 100,000 people who stand to benefit from the assistance to the sugar industry.  

The National Assembly resumes debate on the $220B, 2014 Budget on Monday, April 7.

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