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Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Roger Clarke has given details of the US$44 million loan disbursed to the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ), by the Ministry of Finance and Planning from the Petro Caribe Fund.
Responding to questions about the use of loan funds to the SCJ, put forward by Opposition Member of Parliament for Clarendon North Central, Pearnel Charles in the House, yesterday (February 6), Mr. Clarke said the money was used to carry out several functions.
“The funds were used for the partial restructuring of the Sugar Company of Jamaica’s debt with the elimination of the overdraft being carried by the company with the National Commercial Bank; and providing support for the operations of the SCJ and its affiliated companies, St. Thomas and Trelawny Sugar Companies Limited during the 2007 pre-crop period,” informed Mr. Clarke.
He also noted that the money was used to purchase and repair equipment used on the sugar plantations.
“Funds acquired also facilitated payment of creditors and the servicing of existing long term debt; provided the means by which the SCJ undertook out of crop maintenance and preparation for the 2006/2007 crop; and for the provision of support for the operations of the Frome, Monymusk, and Bernard Lodge sugar companies”.