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Political climate dampens investors buyout of GuySuCo estates -Finance Minister

Political uncertainty, including threats to review deals, has posed a setback in the sale of several Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said Wednesday.

“The sale of the estates has been delayed partly due to the political side because nobody is expressing interest when the opposition (People’s Progressive Party) says ‘we are going to review sales and so on’ and that happened in the past too where people pulled out. They don’t express interest in an atmosphere of uncertainty where you’re suggesting this review, which is another word for harassment, will take place so that has not gone down too well,” he said.

Speaking during a news briefing to present the 2019 Mid-Year Economic Report, Jordan also said the delay in the sale of the sugar estates was due to the “interim” coalition government deciding against any major sale of state assets. I don’t think, at this stage, quite frankly, with our status of interim that we would want to engage in any major privatisation at this time,” the Finance Minister said.

The Caribbean Court of Justice last month, in handing down its decision on the no-confidence motion, labelled the David Granger-led coalition administration “caretaker“.

The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s Special Purpose Unit announced that a consortium of Ghanaian, Guyanese and Indian businessmen were poised to purchase the Rose Hall Estate by July, 2019. Also up for sale are the Skeldon, and East Demerara (Enmore to Ogle) estates.

The opposition PPP has promised its supporters in the sugar belt to reopen the shuttered estates. Thousands of sugar workers have been laid off and estates closed on the grounds of high operational costs, soaring indebtedness and poor production.