Wales Sugar Estate is to be closed by next year the government announced yesterday, the first major decision it has taken on the beleaguered industry which has seen slumping production over the last decade and swingeing debt.
After years of infighting during the last administration, the two new top officials in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) have pledged to cooperate to tackle the many issues affecting the vast hinterland region and anticipate a budget of $4 billion this year to advance development projects.
Addressing a full room, Minister of Health Dr George Norton yesterday hailed the efforts being implemented to end the prequalification process for medical drug supplies in favour of open bidding but he acknowledged that the present system will have to continue in the interim.
“Absolutely not! It’s the law and I am only adhering to the law…the next thing they will ask me is they don’t want to pay taxes,” Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan yesterday said in rejecting a call by the Private Sector Commission (PSC) to ease the 2am curfew to 4am on weekends and holidays.
Government is currently seeking to have over US$3M in a loan funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the Basic Nutrition Programme re-directed to a Hinterland Housing Programme.
A $100M loan in July, 2014 from the rice board to farmers which has not been repaid will put pressure on the Rice Producers Association (RPA) which collected the money and raise questions about the way the former PPP/C government conducted business.
Guyana may have to immediately repay US$5m to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for a once-vaunted nutrition programme which the new government says has thrown up conflicting data and accountability problems.
The deplorable state of the Bartica-Potaro Road has persons who traverse it asking why there has been no visit by government officials since the May General and Regional Elections as well as no signal as to if or when major maintenance is likely to happen.
Bharat Dindyal has been let go as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) after an ongoing clash with his deputy, whom he had accused of overstepping his authority by trying to send senior managers on leave and forcibly removing them from company offices.
Newly appointed Chairman of the Guyana Sugar Corporation, Dr Clive Thomas believes that the US$200M Skeldon estate, inclusive of the US$110M factory is a special case that will need to be dealt with separately by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the sugar industry.
The government is slated to meet this week with China Harbour Engineer-ing Corporation (CHEC), the contractors for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Expansion Project to resolve a US$46 million contract dispute.
The Guyana Rice Develop-ment Board (GRDB) has been advised by Venezuela that the shipping schedule for rice and paddy is under revision and this has left over 270 containers in limbo at the wharves here.
The cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has managed to secure $400M from the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica after modification of its loan terms and the struggling company was the subject of Cabinet discussions yesterday but a decision on a bail-out was put off.
By Pushpa Balgobin in Mahdia Mahdia and areas throughout Region 8 (Potaro/ Siparuni) are struggling to keep up with the dissemination of information, as there is no landline internet service.
A mother of one was murdered yesterday in her home after being repeatedly threatened by her husband who she had reported to the police earlier in the morning.
The construction of the $191.5 million pump station at Lima, Essequibo Coast, has suffered setbacks due to the heavy amount of clay in the area.
The rice barter agreement with Venezuela will commence for 2015 with a drop in prices by US$20 per tonne and a new mechanism is in place for the allocation of quotas to millers.
Guyana has exported over 70, 000 tonnes of rice for the year from the just under 140,000 tonnes carried over from 2014’s second crop and the first crop for 2015 is set to begin harvesting this month as questions persist about the adequacy of international markets.
Caricom’s Chairman, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that given President Donald Ramotar’s assurances that he will make an announcement on General Elections early in 2015 the community is “not too concerned at this point” over the prorogation of the Guyanese Parliament.
The combined opposition met yesterday to fine-tune a campaign to internationalise their revulsion at the suspension of Parliament on Monday and they said they saw no prospect of talks with the government.
With its sugar output continuing to be far below expectation, the Skeldon sugar factory is preparing for the conversion of the current hydraulic dump system to an electric winch system which will help it get closer to its 350 tonnes per hour crushing potential originally promised under the China National Tech-nical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC) construction contract.
With the recently announced sales deal with Panama, Guyana is hoping to cash in on the Central American country’s rice shortage which is projected to carry over into 2015 but a price is still to be settled.
The Essequibo Paddy Farmers Association (EPFA) on Wednes-day reached out to the two largest private sector bodies in the country hoping the agencies could use their influence to ensure that the rice sector conforms to transparent practices.
The troubled Skeldon sugar factory will soon be relying on the punt-dumper from the old factory which had been decommissioned in 2009.
Earlier this month, bankers and rice millers met with the agriculture ministry to discuss the overdraft system and to work out criteria to assist with loans.