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Dec 22, 2021

Amendment to the Sugar Industry Act & Non-Complaint Associations

P.M. says that among the issues right now is the profit sharing mechanism on the bagasse. But there’s another problem within the northern sugar belt. Two of the four associations have signed on to the agreement, but there are concerns over the standings of those associations. An amendment to the Sugar Industry Act that has been tabled before the House of Representatives and the Senate empowers the Minister of Agriculture to intervene on non-compliant associations. The P.M. explains what’s happening there. 


Prime Minister John Briceño

John Briceño

“Because of the urgency of what we are trying to accomplish. What is it that we are trying to accomplish? Simply that there can be a mechanism to ensure that all associations comply with the law. We have one association in particular in Corozal that has not had an annual general meeting or election of their directors since 2016 and because some members have been questioning them, they have been kicked out of the association. And then we have the other two associations which I feel strangely, they are the ones that have already signed agreements with B.S.I. that have not held their elections. They are saying that because of COVID protocols, but these associations, some of their branches only have twenty members so why is it that they can’t have their elections? They need to have their elections. Now is the Ministry of Agriculture maybe overreaching in the sense of giving the ultimate power to the minister? Well that’s debatable and as I said in the House that if that is an issue, then we can look at it and see how to take it off completely. And the Minister of Agriculture has already said if that is an issue, I have no problem in removing that clause.”

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