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Aug 23, 2023

Will G.O.B. Appeal Sugar Act Ruling? For now, it will Fund S.I.C.B.

While we were with the Minister of Home Affairs, we asked for an update on the sugar industry in the north. Minister Musa is part of the cabinet subcommittee that was created to work on resolving the issues between the miller and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. As we’ve reported, the High Court ruled that portions of the Sugar Act were unconstitutional, inclusive of ASR/B.S.I. making payments to the Sugar Industry Control Board. Will G.O.B. appeal the decision of the court? Minister Musa says that the ruling has not been perfected as yet, but until it is resolved, G.O.B. will now have to be funded the S.I.C.B.


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“In that particular case, I think the judge, Justice Farnese, ruled that certain provisions – I think three out of the eight – were ruled unconstitutional. I don’t see it as any sort of a damning ruling from the court. That matter is still being reviewed by the attorney General, with a view of course to consider appealing it. But that case, which was started long ago, is just one in many cases which is why the government asked us to intervene as a subcommittee to try and work along with the parties and I have to say that both of the parties are still very much meaningfully engaged in the process. Both parties as you know can appeal because the judge did not grant all of the provisions as unconstitutional, which was the request of ASR/B.S.I.  So both sides can appeal a decision as this. If I am not mistaken, the order has not been perfected as yet, but that would then start the clock ticking because you would have twenty-one days from the order being perfected to appeal.”



“Has the government determined how many millions B.S.I. has in fact paid over to S.I.C.B. and its agencies?”


Kareem Musa

“I would not be able to say at this point. That would be a matter for the Attorney General to say.”



“So then cabinet has also said that in the meantime, they will ensure that the SICB has all the funding it requires. What does that mean? Does it mean right now that as a result of the court ruling, B.S.I. won’t be passing anything on and the government has to take it on?”


Kareem Musa

“Yes, I believe, base on the court ruling – again, dependent on whether the matter is appealed or not – because when a matter is appealed, the orders are stayed. Either party can appeal for a stay of the orders and it may have to continue, but if it is that the order remains as it is obviously the government will have to find a way to finance and to fund the S.I.C.B.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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