Friday, May 30, 2008

Divestment and privatisation under PNC

Divestment and privatisation under PNC
Kaieteur News letter. Friday 30 May 2008

Dear Editor,
‘Peeping Tom’ is calling on Mr. Winston Brassington to inform the public about who did the valuation of the property of the Sanata and what was the figure quoted.
I am seeking an answer from Peeping Tom on this Privatisation deal of the Guyana Rice Milling and Marketing Authority Anna Regina, by Mr. H.D. Hoyte.
Here is the deal. The lands owned by the Guyana Rice Milling and Marketing Authority by order dated March 17, 1991 as published in the Official Gazette of May 17, 1991-No 28 of 1991 transferred to CARICOM Rice Mills Ltd as follows:-
Tracts A, B, C, D, and E, being a portion of plantation Anna Regina situated on the Essequibo Coast, in the County of Essequibo, containing a total area of 11.8 acres as shown on a Plan by J. Ramnauth, Sworn Land Surveyor, dated 1990-10-28 on record in the Department of Lands and Surveys as Plan No.23264.
The buildings, structures, fittings, appliances and appurtenances for both rice mills situated at Anna Regina and Somerset and Berks were also transferred under the said Order.
These lands can be traced from the plans which had previously belonged to the Government of Guyana and held by transport Nos.779 of 1929 and 320 of 1973 respectively.
The Public Corporations Act 1998 (No 24 of 1998) in exercise of the power conferred upon me by Section 8 of the Public Corporations Act 1998 applied to Guyana Rice Milling and Marketing Authority under Section 66 of that Act. I hereby make the following order. The order may be cited as the Guyana Rice Milling and Marketing Authority transfer of property order 1991 and shall come into operation on 17th March 1991.
Pursuant to the agreement and subject to the representations, warrants, covenants and the terms and conditions specified therein, the property is hereby transferred to the purchaser.
The unpaid purchase price of US$2,100,000 shall be a first charge on the property and, if default is committed by the purchaser in making payment of the same to the Government in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the said sum may be recovered, without prejudice to any other remedy the Government may have against the purchaser, by enforcing the charge.
Also in the deal was lands sited on Somerset and Berks, Essequibo, containing an area of 19.74 acres tract A being portions of Lots 37, 38 and 39 Plantation, Somerset and Berks and the State Farm behind Dartmouth with over 500 acres of state lands now rented out to big rice farmers.
This deal is a rotten one too by the PNC and it has left a bad taste on the rice farmers because this was the only vibrant Rice Mill in the country at the time of privatisation. To date we do not know the shares held by the government and no shares were ever offered to the employees.
Mohamed Khan

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