Georgetown : Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo exposed what he described as an Opposition conspiracy to stall reforms in the sugar industry when he urged defeat of the Opposition’s motion to have the 2015 Report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into GuySuCo be put forward and be debated in the National Assembly last evening.
The motion was doomed to defeat as only 14 Opposition MPs were present for the debate, while the Government fielded a full slate of 33 MPs. According to Prime Minister Nagamootoo, passage of the motion to send the 2015 Report of the sugar corporation’s COI would result in suspension of all the efforts to save the sugar industry, including 11,000 jobs.
“This argument, that the committee was not allowed to look at the COI has no merit, because I have quoted and I maintain my argument in submission that this report has been discussed in depth at the Committee level and that the White Paper was laid, and there was enough information on the policy which could have been debated, (at that time). I believe strongly this motion is without merit and does stand on any premise. But they say, (the Opposition) that they were refused from examining the report and with the opposition push to have this report sent to that particular select committee is only to frustrate the work of the nation and the work to bring some solution to the sugar industry,” the Prime Minister said.
He further described the Opposition’s argument that they were not giving documents as “a sham and fake” and that the PPP members of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economic Services’ call for a full cessation of GuySuCo’s operations as a ploy for political ambition.
“The Opposition wants to hold up the work of GuySuCo. Hold up the work of the Government. Hold up the efforts being made to save the jobs of sugar workers. Hold up the payment of severance, to frustrate the workers and to capitalise on their needs, their grief and capitalise on a situation no one wants to happen, for political ambitions,” he emphasised.
The Leader of the Government’s side of the House added that the Opposition can only resort to divisive tactics to create mass confusion, disenchantment and to frustrate all the efforts to rescue the sugar industry.
“The truth shall be known about the sugar industry and I shall speak these truths whenever I stand on my feet about the sugar industry, and to show that GAWU (Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union) as a handler is trying to put the industry in a no-win situation so that it can serve its own purpose in frustrating the workers and capitalize on them,” the Prime Minister concluded.