Sugar inquiry’s findings for Cabinet retreat today

Government has remained mum on the retreat that is slated for today, when Cabinet and members of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the sugar industry are expected to meet.

The findings of the inquiry were handed over to the Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder on October 20th, 2015, but have yet to be made public.

Holder told Stabroek News previously that the findings of the CoI would be presented to the Cabinet at the retreat, while noting that his ministry had requested additional information from the Commission as it related to “finances” and “economic aspects” of the individual estates.

The minister became agitated and accused this publication of “having an agenda” when questioned further on specifics. He referred to the CoI’s report as interim, while noting that Cabinet looked at the executive summary and members stated that more information on various things was needed.

Dr Clive Thomas, Chairman of the GuySuCo Board and a commissioner told Stabroek News that he has made additions to his previous presentation to the inquiry because he wanted to expand on the economic aspects.

The commissioners were due to meet yesterday for one last time ahead of the retreat.

In addition to Thomas, GuySuCo’s Chief Executive Officer Errol Hanoman and Director of Finance Paul Bhim participated in the CoI, with Bhim providing a full breakdown of the corporation’s debt. The main sugar unions, the General Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agriculture, Commercial and Industrial (NAACIE) also participated by way of presentations.

The retreat is scheduled to commence at 10 am today at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre at Liliendaal.


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