Today, June 30, I have just read Charles Sohan’s letter on the COI for GuySuCo (‘GuySuCo cannot be resurrected; the COI should be recommending methods for winding it down,’ SN). As one who worked in the sugar industry, I endorse the caption of the letter.
Mr Sohan’s comments on Vibert Parvatan, namely, that he has an unblemished record of honesty and integrity and has been involved in promoting many social programmes to help the needy, are factual. Mr Parvatan’s experience encompasses more than forty years in senior managerial roles in agriculture, trade and administration both in the public and private sectors. He was my supervisor for several years when I worked with sugar.
His work record in the sugar industry includes selecting, evaluating and recommending new cane varieties while working at the Sugar Experimental Station, Sophia; and working in the Agriculture Research Department of Bookers Sugar Estates Ltd at the central laboratory. That work developed programmes for the sugar estates for maximum yields, and the timely application of basic and supplementary dressings. That still applies today. He worked as an Agriculture Superintendent and later assistant Field Manager at Uitvlugt Sugar Estate.
He later worked at Skeldon and Albion Estates as Senior Assistant Field Manager. He was a Field Manager of Diamond Estate when he resigned to join a state entity – the Guyana National Trading Corporation as Executive Director with responsibility for engineering and agriculture. At a time of shortages of foreign exchange, Mr Parvatan was responsible for the importation, stocking and distribution of agricultural machines (harvesters, tractors, implements and agro-chemicals) for crops except sugar.
He worked with international agencies including the IDB and CIDA in the procurement of goods and ensured the equitable distribution of much needed agricultural inputs.
While holding that position he was asked to serve as Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture with expanded and defined functions. When President Hoyte demitted office he left the Ministry of Agriculture. Shortly after, he was offered the position of Executive Director with the Laparkan Group of Companies. Their businesses included cargo handling, money transfer, a cambio, furniture manufacturing, hospitality, air travel and retail businesses, including the Wm Fogarty store.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that Mr Parvatan has a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Mr Parvatan also attended international meetings such as ACP/EEC of the European Parliament, Caricom, the Earth Summit Conference on the Environment in Rio, etc.
Mr Parvatan served on many boards including the Consultative Association of Guyanese Industries; the University Council of Guyana; the Guyana National Industrial Company; the Guyana National Trading Corporation; the Board of the Red Cross Society; and the Board of St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital; the Board of Salvation Army.
He has been Chairman of the Special Environmental Enhancement Committee; the Parts Committee for IDB (Agri-Sector loan to Guyana); the Special Committee appointed by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce to address the issue of pavement vendors; the St John Association Guyana.
Mr Parvatan was a member of several Guyana trade teams and made visits to Brazil, the Soviet Union and Romania. He was a guest of the British Government at a Royal Agricultural Show.
Mr Parvatan stayed in Guyana and worked here through the good and bad times.
The COI team members need encouragement and support for their difficult task, not personal attacks.