Not clear if there was a formal agreement with India for sugar rehabilitation

Dear Editor,

Reference is made to a news item captioned ‘Ramotar claims gov’t ignored promised India loans for sugar industry’ (SN, Jan 16). Former President Donald Ramotar accused the present government of discrimination as it pertains to the accessing assistance from India, and of not wanting to rescue the ailing sugar industry.

It is not clear there was a formal (written) agreement for technical assistance and a line of credit from India to rehabilitate the sugar industry in Guyana.  Let us assume there was no agreement, why hasn’t this administration approached India or an African country that has been successful in sugar cane production to assist with the rehabilitation of the sugar industry. India has been very successful in growing sugar; farms have been very profitable without assistance from Europe.

Now that the former President has stated there was an agreement in principle to aid the sugar industry, the APNU+AFC coalition government should pursue it. The government should first query from the Government of India if assistance was committed and whether it can now be accessed. And if it was not committed, then the government should request such assistance to rehabilitate the estate and overall industry – in cultivation and harvesting. No harm is done in asking to save the jobs of thousands and on whom the livelihoods of tens of thousands depend.

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram


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