President David Granger said today that his government will do everything possible to keep the sugar industry alive.
He was speaking at the PNCR’s General Council meeting today. A release from the PNCR follows:
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), today, Saturday 29th April 2017, held its second General Council Meeting for the year 2017 at the Party’s Headquarters, Congress Place, Sophia. General Council which was held under the theme: “PNCR – Vanguard of a Green Economy” was chaired by the Party Chairman, Hon. Basil Williams, S.C. M.P. The Party Chairman welcomed the members of the General Council especially those who had travelled from the hinterland regions and overseas.
The Chairman reminded that as a governing Party, “We have been given the mandate to take the nation forward and General Council has the opportunity to discuss how we (the PNCR) are going to do this.” He told attendees that the Coalition was committed to putting the country first, engage in good governance, and a return to rule of law. The Chairman urged Party members to enhance their contact with the Guyanese people in all communities and to continue to work to bridge the coastland and hinterland divide.
A minute of silence was observed for Party members who had passed away in the period between General Councils.
The General Secretary’s Report was presented by Mr. Oscar Clarke, CCH, General Secretary of the PNCR. He brought General Council up to date with the state of the Party’s Secretariat, the youth and women’s arm and all Party regions (local and overseas) and the work of the Secretariat during the period between General Councils. The General Secretary reported to the Council that the state of the Party was strong, poised and prepared to participate fully in all events planned for the 60th Anniversary of the PNCR.
The feature address was given by His Excellency, Brigadier David Granger, Leader of the PNCR and President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. In an address that covered a wide array of issues, Brigadier Granger reported on his recent visits to the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.
The Party Leader asked that in commemoration of the PNCR’s Diamond Jubilee every region (the Party region) must engage in an economic venture. He called for Regional Trade Fairs and Regional Agricultural and Commercial exhibitions in all ten administrative regions to promote women and youth employment; agro-processing and economic development of the regions.
Addressing the current situation with the Guyana Sugar Corporation, Brigadier Granger said that the sugar industry in Guyana as currently configured is not sustainable.
“We are not shutting down GuySuCo, we are consolidating…. we are going to make the sugar industry more muscular, more robust. We will do everything to keep GuySuCo alive… we want to save sugar workers jobs.” Brigadier Granger said.
The Party leader told the General Council that diversification of the economy was imperative “We have to diversify. We have to produce new commodities. We cannot continue to rely on the ‘six sisters’, (Sugar, rice, timber, bauxite, gold and diamonds).” Brigadier Granger said that he was impressed with many of the items that he had seen at recent Regional Trade Fairs and called for better marketing and packaging of locally produced products.
Touching on the environment, Brigadier Granger iterated that the PNCR was committed to a green economy. “Global warming is no joke. We have to protect the environment. Miners must conduct their business in a responsible way; some miners are reckless and we have to put an end to that.” The President and Party leader told the General Council that regions had a role to play in the protection of the environment. “Every region must have a protected area. We have to protect the environment so that our children can see and enjoy this beautiful and bountiful country we have inherited.” he said.
Brigadier Granger noted that social cohesion was about national unity and it was included in the objects of the PNCR. “We have a responsibility to make sure that programmes are promoted to achieve cultural awareness and cohesion. We will extend recognition to every ethnic group in Guyana. We will treat our citizens with respect wherever they live…we are not going to discriminate based on geography or political affiliation.” Brigadier Granger said.
A lively plenary during the second session examined the Party Leader’s address, the General Secretary’s Report, plans for the Party’s 60th anniversary and regional interventions.
The General Council concluded with a summation and charge which was given by Party Leader and President, H.E. David Arthur Granger.
General Council is the second highest decision making forum of the PNCR.