The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has refuted accusations by major opposition parties over the directions of the entity.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) both criticized an announced decision of the government to hire either a Chinese or Indian company to run the troubled Skeldon sugar factory.
In a statement issued yesterday, GuySuCo indicated that it has noted “the sweeping and generalized statements concerning the sugar industry in Guyana emanating from the APNU and AFC grouping without first trying to understand the complexities of the operations”.
“Key to their misinformation has been the Skeldon Sugar Modernization Project which has been actively engaging the attention of the Corporation and our shareholder – the Government of Guyana.”
While not addressing the issues raised by APNU and AFC over the ongoing considerations of the proposals by the un-named Chinese and Indian companies to manage the Skeldon factory, the Corporation said that it is no secret that the technology used in the Skeldon project is the first of its kind in this region and no one expected this transition to be smooth and trouble-free.
“With Skeldon being the largest sugar factory in Guyana, it is a fact that a larger percentage of production will be expected and because of its peculiar challenges, including external factors, production has not been as expected.”
“We categorically reject any assertions by the APNU/AFC political grouping that the engineering firms which were selected to undertake these projects have been selected based on any other consideration whatsoever.”
“The citations and fulminations of the parties inaccurately reflect the reality facing the industry and would appear that this grouping is hoping to score cheap political points at the expense of the industry, based on distortions and misleading information,” GuySuCo said in its statement last evening.
“GuySuCo would like to reiterate its position that it will continue to follow laid down procedures in the award of future contracts in its usual open and transparent manner. It is also interesting to note that it is this same APNU/AFC grouping which has maintained a steadfast opposition to Government investments in the industry over the past few years while a section has publicly articulated its plans to dismantle the sugar industry in Guyana.”
The Corporation made it clear that it will not countenance innuendos, speculation and misleading information which have been publicly aired by the APNU and AFC.
“We do not intend to be caught up in any political debate with political parties, some of which clearly demonstrate sinister motives.”
GuySuCo claimed that it is public knowledge that intense efforts have been ongoing, including collaborative engagements with overseas experts, all geared towards improving production at Skeldon. A timeline of 2012 has been identified for such targets to be achieved.
“It is perplexing that some organizations now feign ignorance of the efforts underway to address the challenges at Skeldon, when a Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economics team comprising both government and opposition members had a detailed inspection of the facility on April 29, 2010, and none other than the late PNCR Chairman Winston Murray had praised the intense efforts to address the issues at the facility.”
Regarding the issue of transparency, GuySuCo said it must be recalled that throughout the nationalization period of the industry, certain management practices had to be observed in keeping with the state of ownership of the industry.
“More particularly since 1992 enhanced public accountability and financial probity preoccupied the attention of policy makers as well as management. Hence, all major contracts concerning the industry have been awarded under the strict rules and procedures governing the award of such contracts.”
According to the Corporation, the last two major contracts it had undertaken were the Skeldon Sugar Modernization Project and the Enmore Packaging Plant which have both been awarded by GuySuCo in strict adherence to the tender procedures.
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