Some GuySuCo estates to be merged; Gov’t to engage Opposition on COI report

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By Jomo Paul

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

[www.inewsguyana.com] –Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has clarified that there will be no closures of estates of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), but rather some estates will be merged.

Harmon at a post Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday, December 23, 2015, stated that the management of GuySuCo decided that to optimize its performance and as part of making the industry viable, some of the estates will not operate on a standalone basis.

He went indicated that the Wales, West Bank Demerara and Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara estates will be merged as a part of this process.

“The whole idea is to make the industry more efficient so it does not become a sorted of drain on the economy,” said the Minister.

The State Minister also noted that Cabinet has reviewed the findings of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the sugar industry. He said that this report is to be laid in the National Assembly on December 30 as government moves to engage the Parliamentary Opposition on the way forward for the sugar industry.

[File Photo]
[File Photo]
“We will have wide consultation with all stakeholders and members of the public,” Harmon said, adding that several proposals were included in the report submitted to Cabinet.

“Proposals had to do with the options available to make the industry viable in the near future,” said Harmon.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Mervin’s comment is highly accurate and scientific based on empirical evidence in the real world. Merging and “downsizing” in one specific industry has unavoidable implications of redundancy in the workforce…employees have to be removed in order to streamline the size and effectiveness of the various SIMILAR departments and its employee rosters.
    A much smaller team working harder and more effectively with equipment and technology aids should result in greater efficiency in the overall production “machinery” leading to reductions in operating expenditures, primarily in the salaries and wages account category.
    I suspect that with GuySuCo’s current emphasis on a large manual workforce with little mechanization and technology inputs; that salaries/wages cost is second only to energy costs. Jobs will be trimmed/lost and cost effective, near location, Central Processing Facilities have to be utilized.
    Privatization and the competition component (Mervin) will create best profitability at the painful expense of the workers loosing jobs. Careful and compassionate considerations have to be introduced to the workforce with retraining and other financial aids in the interim period of such a changeover.

  2. The logic eludes me on the merger of these estates, which already operate as part of a single unit called GuySuCo.
    Given their separate physical locations, how exactly will these three be merged to produce savings?
    Wouldn’t it have been better to put these estates up for sale to local and foreign investors in joint venture management deals? Maybe start with one or two estates and offer enticing tax incentives.
    Let there be competition among the new private owners the same as with rice.
    All this talk about sugar being a drain on the economy will continue as long as political gangsters see political benefits ahead of financial benefits.
    There was a time when bauxite was bleak and the PPP regime sold it off to the Russians and Chinese. Bauxite still exists, but not with subventions from government.

  3. That was the reason why Jagdeo built the Skeldon Sugar Factory. One large Factory with a larger grinding /production capacity.
    It would be good if one large Factory was built at a strategic position between Wales on the West Bank and Uitvlugt on the West coast so these two factories could be closed down.So you will get one Factory instead of the two.

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