Considering the prevailing national circumstances, the challenges of COVID 19 and a reduced national income, the Ministry of Finance has told the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) that there is not enough money in the Treasury to provide it with a much needed bailout. This response comes on the heels of a request by the State owned agency that it is in need of funds to survive beyond this week. Additionally, GuySuCo’s Board Chairman warned in a letter to President David Granger that without the much needed cash injection, the industry could fall flat on its face.
While the Treasury is incapable at this time of meeting the bailout, the Ministry of Finance did note that it is actively seeking to assist GuySuCo to access funds that are available to it, to mitigate its present challenges. In a statement to the press this evening, the Ministry reminded that a $30 Billion bond backed by NICIL’s assets and guaranteed by the Government of Guyana was secured through NICIL to retrofit and revitalise the three remaining sugar estates. During the period July 2018 to February 2020, the Ministry said that $9,720,759,568 was disbursed to GuySuCo to fund its Capital and Operational Expenditure – much of which was outside the terms of the bond.
Additionally, the Ministry said that NICIL, through its Special Purpose Unit, sold lands that were vested to it, and garnered deposits of $2.1 billion. This news agency understands that the full sum was used to offset bond payments that became due in May, 2020. It was further explained that the balance of $1.5 billion for the lands will be paid over to NICIL when the vesting orders are signed and gazetted.
The Ministry said it is expected that part of this sum will go towards a bond repayment which is due on July 4, 2020, and the remainder to GuySuCo.
“Another disbursement is expected in the coming days; so we urge that NICIL, Guysuco and the syndicated lenders work assiduously to resolve any bottlenecks,” the Ministry concluded.