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There has been a steep increase, reflecting more than 100 percent, in sugar. A bag that once cost less than $6000.00 is not costing in excess of $13,000.00. Sugar is produced by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), which is a state-owned entity. In addition to this fact, the Government gives billions to GuySuCo from the Treasury to keep the company operating. The increase in sugar price is a double whammy for the taxpayers who are both subsidising the company and are being required to now pay more for the product they are in the first instance paying to produce.
Increase in sugar would be an additional financial burden. The average Guyanese consume sugar. Sugar is used in many ways, such as in hot and cold beverages, making baked products, sugar cake, fudge, ice cream, mettai and so many other food items that are considered staple to the Guyanese palate. This increase in price will have adverse impact and it is not a strategy to reduce sugar consumption because the cash strapped GuySuCo would rather prefer selling the product.
The increase more suggests, that given the importance of sugar in Guyanese food, GuySuCo has bargained that the public is incapable of doing without this essential item. The company is probably hoping that though there may be initial complaints about the price increase, Guyanese will grumble for a short time but will pay the new price.
The government has control over GuySuCo. If it is a case where the company is selling sugar at a higher price they should intervene and stop in. The increase will impact on the price for beverages and food items that use sugar. The consumer is always the one that suffers, with the poor suffering more. Consumers are already finding it difficult to pay the higher prices for other essential commodities. The price for everything is going up, including that which the government has controlled over.
The pandemic has not made people richer but rather poorer. The times are hard and people are finding it difficult to survive much less cope. The one-off cash grant was only $25,000.00 not $250,000.00 and many have still not received this payout. It is unfair to Guyanese to have to suck up an increased cost in the price for sugar and sugar is still being sold at the same low price of US13 cents to the foreign customers. The price increase should be reversed.