The time has come for an investigation to be conducted into the Skeldon sugar factory. There should be a special investigative committee of independent, technical persons, to investigate why the factory cannot operate as it was designed to do after the completion. The Minister of Agriculture should appoint the committee in consultation with the two unions which are representing workers in the industry. Unless some action is taken against those who are responsible for the failure of this factory, the sugar industry will continue to suffer. The losers will always be the ordinary workers and taxpayers.
As I have said before, we will have to acquire, adapt and develop technology as the propellant, so to speak, of our development activities. I have argued at several forums and at different times, that economic and social progress are not sustainable or even possible without transparency. The debt problems in the sugar industry have milked our country of many of its resources. Lest I be misunderstood, let me say clearly that I am not against foreign management but in principle I do not believe that it should in every instance, be the first or only option when we have the expertise here. We are speaking of neglecting our own people, and we cannot and must not take this lightly. The new interim Board has not delivered on the plan of action for the industry and I urge the President to take note of this and ensure that he find the best people possible to manage this state-owned entity and give them clear mandates without too much political interference.