The coalition administration is facing renewed calls to release the most recent audited accounts of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) which was completed more than a year ago.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, in a media statement said there has been a resurgence of concerns about the GuySuCo pension scheme which is part of the 2016 GuySuCo audit.
“GuySuCo’s audited accounts for 2016 was completed almost one year ago. However, it has not yet been tabled in Parliament,” Jagdeo pointed out.
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) called on the government to table the audited accounts and come clean to the Parliament on the many important issues.
Jagdeo pointed to reports which indicated that GuySuCo’s 2016 audited financial statements disclosed a huge unfunded pension liability of over $30B. He stated that no-one in Government is speaking publicly about this or engaging the Unions and the workers.
“The largest pension plan in the country, the largest employer, a major un-funded pension liability, and no one in Government seems willing to talk about it. Yet they are proceeding at a rapid pace to strip GuySuCo of its assets,” Jagdeo stated.
He stated that tens of thousands of people could be hurt, but the Government seems oblivious to telling the people affected what they plan to do.
There were deep concerns about the state of the fund, despite hundreds of millions of dollars being deducted for pension, NIS and taxes. In some cases it was discovered that GuySuCo did not remit the monies.
Earlier this year, GuySuCo says that it has delayed the decision to forward pensions to the banks.
This followed the protests of pensioners recently.
GuySuCo has struggled to raise the funds needed to revamp its operations and has relied heavily on Government bailouts to stay afloat. A US$150M syndicated bond secured for four sugar estates which were closed last year.
The estates have been placed under the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) which is tasked by Government to execute privatization plans for the Skeldon, Rose Hall, Enmore and Wales Estates that were closed in keeping with Government’s ‘right-sized’ approach for the sugar corporation.
The state-owned National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) received roughly US$85M, which was disbursed on May 24, 2018, with the residual tranche to be issued to NICIL as is needed.
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