More than 5600 Sugar workers received government’s $250,000 grant amounting to some $1.3 Billion. On Thursday, as the government sought the approval of the National Assembly for some $26 Billion, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha defended this move saying this money will benefit the village economy.
The Minister at the time was being grilled by APNU/AFC Member of Parliament Khemraj Ramjattan who inquired of the $3 Billion being sought by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Minister Mustapha in his response said that the monies was for the one off grant for sugar workers, $2 Billion for out of crop support for Guysuco and some $236 Million for NDIA.
He told the House that out of the $2 Billion for out of crop support for the Sugar Corporation, $1.6 Billion would be used for wages, $2.8 Billion for fuel, $47 million for lubricant, $130 million for lorry rental, $94 Million for essential parts, $86 Million for pension and some $28 Million for union dues.
After listing the expenses, MP Ramjattan then questioned by this was deemed urgent asking if it was not catered for in the National Budget passed earlier this year. The Agriculture Minister told the House that the “serious flood” earlier this year saw Guysuco “expending a large sum” in response to the floods and its budget has been exhausted.