Monday, October 19, 2009

Bauxite was privatized in 2004, 12 years after the PPP came into office and only when good, sound privatization offers came.

PM Sam Hinds:Bauxite and Sugar engender great, but often different, emotions in Guyanese, particularly older Guyanese like Lincoln and me. And this is to be expected: sugar and bauxite have, in their respective ways and in their own times, brought money and recognition and pride to Guyanese and Guyana. Although both Lincoln and I have been employees of the bauxite industry since the 1960s, and have remained strongly associated with bauxite unto this day, we do hold very different views. Further, I think that there are facts which Lincoln either cannot see, or chooses to belittle or ignore.

Let us look at what might be the germane paragraph of Lincoln’s contention in Kaieteur News of 2009-09-12.

“The PPP, on coming into office, embraced the privatization of bauxite but refused to put a safety net in place to deal with the resulting social and economic consequences, while at the same time it ignored the recommendation of SAP (Structural Adjustment Programme) to deal with sugar.”

What are the cold facts?

Under the SAP, GUYSUCO, put by the PNC in the late 1980s under Booker-Tate management, was to be returned to profitability, then to be privatized: and there was a return to profitability, but this Government did not privatize Sugar.

L1NMINE, put under MINPROC management, was to be privatized if it was made profitable, or be closed if it could not be made profitable. Lincoln would recall that there was a previous MFI intervention in 1983 to turn GUYMINE to profitability, which intervention did not succeed. This, therefore, was to be a second and last chance for bauxite to be shown to be profitable. In

1994, MINPROC declared that they could see no way to make L1NMINE profitable, but this Government did not close L1NMINE, as was required by the SAP.

Bauxite was privatized in 2004, twelve years after this Government came into office and only when good, sound privatization offers came, even though, by themselves, neither of the two bauxite operations was covering its costs. This Government did not come into office with any preconceived position on bauxite.

No comments:

Post a Comment