‘Financial issue’ delays GuySuCo staff salaries

The Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) financial crisis has affected its ability to pay employees on time, as information received by Stabroek News indicated that they were not paid on Friday, the designated as payday for salaried employees.

Contacted yesterday, GuySuCo’s head of Human Resources Jairam Petam said “It was a financial issue that we resolved… We haven’t paid salaries yet. Salaries will be paid on Wednesday.”

He said that “from a legal standpoint we have communicated to all staff that they will be paid on Wednesday.”

Pressed to explain the financial issue that left thousands of employees without their salaries Petam stated that all questions would need to be referred to the company’s Financial Director Paul Bhim.

When Stabroek News attempted to contact Bhim we were told that he was in a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer Raj Singh.

According to reliable sources, GuySuCo is illiquid and lacks the ability to pay short-term obligations including debt. The cash-strapped state owned entity was provided with a $6 billion subvention in this year’s budget. However this money is to be used for capital projects and the purchase of equipment. Over $3 billion is to be spent on mechanisation and upgrading factories and GuySuCo is still to reveal the breakdown for the other half of the money.

One of the corporation’s largest issues has been the debt amalgamated during the construction of the US$200 million Skeldon factory which has resulted in debt repayment that it just can’t meet.

This publication was made to understand that this is not the first time GuySuCo has been unable to pay employees on time.

Head of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand has been demanding a full accounting breakdown. Just last month, Chand has reiterated the need for a comprehensive breakdown of the over $31 billion that was handed over for the industry by the European Union (EU) as part of the accompanying measures to the reform sugar.

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