THE GOVERNMENT IS ENTITLED TO A FEW MISTAKES
It has been twenty-three years since the PNC aka APNU has been out of political office. Most of those who would have been part of previous PNC governments are not a part the APNU Government.
What we therefore have is a bunch of mainly newcomers. It is therefore understandable that they will take some time to get accustomed to the workings of government.
They will also make mistakes. This is all part of the learning process and some accommodation has to be made for this.
The new government should not be judged too harshly so early in their term. They are new to the job and it will take some time for them to get accustomed to the “ropes”.
But because they are new to the job, they should be careful as to whom they are removing and the pace at which they are removing persons. This could backfire against them and strip them of persons of knowledge and experience who they will need during these early days of their rule.
The sweeping changes made to the GUYSUCO Board and the sending home of a senior manager, may have been too rash a move especially considering that the Commission of Inquiry into the corporation has only now been established. The government should have allowed the Commission to conclude its work before taking action.
On the question of the Commission of Inquiry, the timeline is way too short. The members cannot effectively diagnose the problems of the corporation and find solutions within a three month period. They need at least eight months to conclude their work. When you are new to political power, there is tendency to feel that things will work quickly, but in reality they never do and it will take much longer for the work of the COI to be completed.
The COI should be given time because if they rush to produce a report they may not be able to explore all the avenues that may be open to the corporation. Those who commissioned the inquiry would want to explore all options and they should give the commission adequate time to do this.
They should also have considered that it may have been better if this COI could have benefited from the findings into the forensic audit of the new sugar factory at Skeldon. The outcome of this would have been very helpful to the commission if they went about their work. It will be incredulous if the COI can arrive at conclusions without a detailed investigation into Skeldon.
Time however is not on the side of the authorities. They have to get things going, and they have started. Missteps are going to be made and already in fact have been made.
One thing however must be clear. No one is doing the sugar industry a favor by doling out billions to it. In the days when a billion dollars was probably worth ten billion dollars today, the sugar industry was deprived of critical resources to recapitalize the industry. Monies were dug out of the profits of Guysuco to the tune of billions of dollars.
For years as much as four billion dollars were levied against the sugar corporation to support workers elsewhere. This was money that should have belonged to the sugar workers. They would have had a larger profit sharing but instead this vulgar levy was placed on the industry. This is one of the reasons why investments could not have been made. It is hoped that the unions will forcibly represent this point because no industry should ever again be subject to such an obscene levy.
What is more important is that the new government has seen it fit to introduce a measure which had reduced circulation during the PPP administration. Perhaps if the PPP had seen the wisdom of doing what the new government is now doing, they would have avoided the ignominious fate of managing the best performing economy in the region- forget about that nonsense about the economy not growing over the past two years- and yet losing political office.