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Foreign management for Skeldon factory…An opposition coalition contesting the upcoming national polls set for later this year has called for an independent Commission of Inquiry to probe the affairs of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo),China NFL Hoodies, a state-owned entity.A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), in its weekly press conference at Congress Place, headquarters of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), also slammed the statements of Minister of Agriculture,Cheap Jerseys From China, Robert Persaud, that Guyana is considering external management for the multi-million-dollar Skeldon Sugar Factory. The considerations include both Chinese and Indian companies.On Wednesday, another political party, the Alliance For Change, opined that by so doing, the ruling administration would create a grand opportunity for massive corruption.Officials at APNU’s press conference yesterday. From left: Anthony Vieira, Lance Carberry and Deborah Backer.APNU stated that the declaration by Minister Persaud is neither credible nor acceptable.“Since 2006, Mr. Persaud was appointed as the Minister responsible for the sugar industry. Therefore, it is unacceptable that, after giving the public every conceivable excuse – including factually questionable, misleading, and unachievable targets and predictions – he is now publicly declaring that the current management of the sugar industry, which he played a significant role in appointing, is incapable of successfully managing the Guyana Sugar Corporation.For the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to be forced to make this disclosure, of not being able to manage the sugar industry this close to an election, shows how far up the creek Skeldon really is,” APNU Executive Member, Deborah Backer read from a prepared statement. Also present at the briefing were PNCR’s senior officials, Lance Carberry and Anthony Vieira.“The public will recall that it was the Chinese who were granted the contract to build the US$200M Skeldon (factory) which has precipitated the demise of the Guyana sugar industry,” the statement continued.WHITE ELEPHANTThe Skeldon factory,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, which has been labelled by knowledgeable persons as a “white elephant”, continues to be the biggest and most expensive problem in the local sugar industry.APNU claimed that in the just concluded first crop,Clearance Shoes Nz, two-thirds of the shortfall in production occurred at Skeldon, and the remainder at LBI and Enmore.“The expressed rationale for the new packaging plant at Enmore was that it would help to stabilize the rapid decline of the sugar price received by GuySuCo. However, since the industry continues to be subsidized by our taxes, the citizens of this nation are forced to question the success of the ‘so called’ improvements to our sugar production, such as packaging plants or expansions of the industry’s production, under the PPP/C administration.”APNU, which is a coalition of the PNCR and a number of other smaller parties, questioned why Guyana did not look to neighbouring Brazil – “a country with the biggest and most efficient production of sugar from sugar cane on the planet” – for expertise.The beleaguered US$200M Skeldon factory has come under more fire from the opposition parties.“However, the PPP/C administration seems reluctant to do the sensible thing and seek help from Brazil, our neighbour who has at all times been willing and eager to help. Instead, the President Jagdeo/PPP/C Administration has opted to deal with Chinese or Indian companies which have no demonstrated track record that matches the expertise of the Brazilians.”Under these circumstances, APNU called for the immediate mounting of a Commission of Inquiry into the functioning of GuySuCo.APNU contended that none of the entity’s current Directors has any experience or understanding of the Guyana sugar industry.LOW PRODUCTION“This political control of the board and the industry has in no small way contributed to the demise of the corporation and now they are about to compound one mistake with another by bringing in a management team which is not familiar with our conditions.”According to Backer, a PNCR Parliamentarian, the production of the Skeldon factory continues to be a cause for great concern.“At this time, in 2011, according to GuySuCo’s own projections, Skeldon should have been producing 100,000 tons of sugar (40,000 tons in the first crop and 60,000 tons in the second crop). In the first crop of this year, Skeldon turned in a production of a little over 10,NFL Jerseys Cheap Authentic,000 tons.” APNU blamed this on the continuous late reaping, due to a complete breakdown of the process of getting the cane from the fields to the factory and compounded by the numerous and costly factory problems being experienced.“The level of production is completely unacceptable and the number of tons of cane to make a ton of sugar is horrendous. In 1999, when the Skeldon project was still on paper, stalwarts of the sugar industry urged the PPP to use caution in expanding our industry, since the European Union was removing the preferential price and Guyana had several logistical problems to expansion, not least of which was a declining workforce, and the inability to mechanize due to our cambered bed lay out.Whilst Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados were downsizing their industries, in view of this loss of the preferential price, the PPP/C Administration was inexplicably expanding,Stitched Jerseys, despite urges of caution by the opposition.”“We also hold the view that the Guyana cane farmers, who are supplying some 8-10% of the sugar cane to our factories, should be given their share of the EU developmental funds paid to the Government to offset the loss of the preferential price. We think that the Government owes the Guyana cane farmers, who have served the local industry well, their share of this fund.”
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