WITH nearly a week gone the parties are gradually settling down into outlining their promises for the future if elected. Last Sunday at Albion it was the turn of the PPP. It is interesting that they seem to be drifting away from heated arguments, on their part, to stick to sugar and re-open the closed estates. The reality of the situation is that any proposed project from the parties must be economically viable. Sugar was, over the years, a substantial burden on Guyana and the only justification for keep it going was for the political support gained by the PPP.
A simple example would elucidate the point. Today, as before, the cost to produce a pound of sugar is over US35 cents a pound– the price on the world market is well below US14 cents– it therefore follows that this product is not viable for export and has been so for years!. Closure of the estates had to come and should have been done within the 23 years that they were in power, as they had all the time to readjust and reinvest for the benefit of all Guyanese. The US$200M wasted on the Skeldon white elephant should have been better spent on this. Mr Jagdeo recklessly blundered on this project, as with many others, as it was totally unjustified with no hope in hell to succeed.
Today there is a dire need to move away from these chains that shackle our growth and prosperity and concentrate on what is best for Guyana. The coalition’s decision to close the estates was a step in the right direction. The emphasis must be to proceed with their divestment and attract new business entities which will bring jobs and a bright future.
If we were to look at the Caribbean, those with foresight have turned away from sugar with little or no criticism. It is true that the workers were left without jobs, which is most unfortunate, but their sacrifice will be addressed with constructive handling of the economy.
My dream is that with all the factors in our favour all Guyanese must have an equitable share in our future wealth. It therefore follows that we must vote for who we can trust to lead us to the promised land.