Head of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand said he will be discussing the possibility of accepting an invitation to sit on the new Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Board of Directors.
He said that by Monday the union will make a decision on whether to accept the invitation after a weekend of consultations.
On June 16, during a rally held at the Enmore Martyrs Monument Site, at Enmore, East Coast Demerara, President Donald Ramotar had publicly invited Chand to sit on the next GuySuCo Board. This was after Chand had criticised GuySuCo’s management during his address at the rally. Blaming the depressed state of the corporation on poor management, Chand had said “A new board of directors is long, long overdue…, especially since the last Chairman became the new Chief Executive Officer, leaving GuySuCo headless and the present board headless….” Chand revealed that he had since received a formal invitation from Minister of Agriculture Dr Leslie Ramsammy to sit on the board. He said that the decision is not being taken lightly and that all the factors will need to be considered especially in relation to the union’s position as a critical member of the corporation and its current management.
He did address whether GuySuCo had begun the process of full financial disclosure, which was one of the fundamental demands Chand had said he would make of the corporation if he were to consider the President’s offer of a seat on the board.
Chand also did not offer any comment on whether the board seat may end up being done as an appointment, with an elected GAWU representative sitting instead.
In his criticism of GuySuCo, Chand had also said that the management system was flawed and the appointment of the previous board chairman Rajendra Singh to the position of CEO did little to ease worries over the management structure of the state-owned company.
He had called for full disclosure of the over $31 billion that was handed over by the European Union(EU) as the accompanying measures to the reform of the EU sugar regime needed.
Recently during a meeting of the Parliamentary Economic Services Committee, Singh had stated there was no agreement in place to mandate that EU funding be given to GuySuCo. However the basis for the Financing Agreement for the Guyana Annual Action Programme on Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries is to ensure that funding is provided through budgetary support.
The EU has departed from project based funding over the years allowing for monies to be provided through budget support.
During GuySuCo’s meeting with the parliamentary committee, Singh was unable to account for any funding this year and he questioned if funding was handed over in 2013.
It was also revealed during the committee meeting that prior to finalising the board two members needed to agree to their potential appointments. The life of the current board had to be extended after it expired last year December, with the deadline for the appointments to be July.