Bungled sugar estates’ write-off“Imagine coming into an inheritance of a profitable business. This business is the umbrella corporation for a range of successful companies. When you took over this umbrella corporation, you decided you didn’t like a bunch of employees from one of the larger companies under your control, so you fire them and decide to sell out the company. You then realise that you made a bad decision despite everyone’s warnings that it was a bad decision from the beginning. You now have to borrow money to get back to some semblance of square one.”Economic Advisor to the Opposition, Peter Ramsaroop on Wednesday said that this was the predicament Government now found itself in as a result of the asinine decision-making that was embarked on by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who, he noted, has clearly misled the President into thinking he was the man for the job.Ramsaroop gave what he called a layman’s breakdown of the dangerous developments taking place at the highest levels of Government – decisions that will leave countless Guyanese in debt.He was at the time speaking to the most recent pronouncement by Minister Jordan that Government would now have to borrow $15 billion to reopen the Skeldon and Enmore Sugar Factories that were fully functional at the time the coalition took office.Ramsaroop spoke to Guyana Times following the protests by sugar workers at the closed Wales Estate and sought to again warn of the coming financial crisis that the Administration has set the nation on course for.According to Ramsaroop, while the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) did have its problems, it earned much-needed foreign currency for the country in addition to providing jobs for thousands of Guyanese – sugar workers on whom untold thousands depend for their livelihoods.“Jordan’s financial card tricks as he calls them have real consequences for real people….the Minister cannot be making blunder after blunder only to come change them subsequently to be forgiven.”The economist, in speaking to the mismanagement of the industry at a macro level, questioned, “How is it the Minister only realised after shutting the factories down that it would be more profitable to sell them as working facilities?”Ramsaroop added: “Recall the Minister had introduced VAT on education, thinking that was a bright idea and he had to backpedal on that; recall the Minister had increased the taxes for miners, he had to backpedal on that too.”He said for each year the coalition has been in office and sought to tinker with a complex taxation system it has backfired, but the real consequences were lost on those in high office.“I am honestly wondering now if we can survive to 2020 as a viable economy…Billions of foreign currency earnings will be lost with the closure of the factories, not to mention the societal and other economic pressures that are still to be brought to the fore as the impact begins to sink in.“This is February…people are going to celebrate this week a festival after hard work, but for thousands of sugar workers, while Minister [George] Norton and his acolytes palance on the front pages with skimpily clad models, sugar workers are now coming to grips with the fact that the part payment of a severance will soon be used up and the reality of another paycheque not forthcoming will eventually begin to boil even more uncontrollably.”According to Ramsaroop, “had President Granger heeded the advice of those that had been in office and do the right thing in ensuring there was a continuity of fiscal policies that had been yielding fruits, Guyana’s economy would not have been faltering as it is now because of the ill-advised and downright illogical policies that are being presented by the Finance Minister.”He told this publication that the Finance Minister should do the honourable thing and resign or the President should quickly dismiss him.