BLP questions $500m investment
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is questioning Government’s decision to invest $500 million in a multipurpose sugar factory while it fails to meet several commitments to Barbadians.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has charged that the administration has not been able to meet the legitimate demands of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and provide financial assistance for students at the University of the West Indies, as well as other sectors.
“Why is the Prime Minister now fast tracking this project all of a sudden when two months ago the Prime Minister indicated that it could not be an immediate priority for his Government? Is this not more to do with the Prime Minister’s survival? Where is the cost benefit analysis for the factory? Where is the environmental impact assessment? Is this the best way to execute the project or should the private sector and farmers be encouraged to invest themselves, in a smaller factory that is more suited to the current scale of the industry?” she queried.
The BLP leader suggested that sugar farmers have yet to receive outstanding monies and were unaware how much they would be paid for this year’s crop.
“This has led to continuing acres, indeed thousands of acres, being taken out of production. Against this background the country must now demand an urgent justification from this Government for investing $500 million in a sugar factory for a sugar industry that is 15,000 tons and declining,” Mottley insisted.
“It is urgent that the farmers receive what is owed to them, as so many Barbadians ought to receive what is owed to them, but in so doing to ensure that we do not literally bring the end to an industry that has been around this country for centuries.”