JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, says the effort to privatise the sugar industry will be part of redefining the role played by government in serving the needs of the people.
“Government cannot fix roads, maintain hospitals, manage schools, look after poor people in infirmaries and still be in the business of producing sugar. It doesn’t make any sense…every pound of sugar, every tonne of cane that we produce under government ownership, cost taxpayers money. If it costs us one hundred dollars to produce it, we have to sell it for eighty or seventy-five dollars. We cannot continue that way,” Mr. Golding explained.
The Prime Minister was addressing a Town Hall meeting in May Pen, Clarendon, on September 23.
He mentioned that the sugar companies in St. Thomas and Trelawny have been privatised and so will those in St. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, and Westmoreland. He also said that negotiations are being carried out with a European company, which has a sound track record, and he hopes that the talks will be completed in a short time.
“We expect that some of the sugar workers are going to be re-employed once we have concluded those negotiations and the new owners have come. But they are not going to employ everybody; they are not going to employ three people, if two can do the work,” Mr. Golding added.
“It will provide strong support for the farmers. The price of sugar is good now and we don’t know how long that will be, but there’s an opportunity where we can really get that industry going,” the Prime Minister said.

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