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– Agri Minister…‘this will not be tolerated for much longer’By Tusika Martin Some millers are using farmers as ‘bankers’ to acquire money for alternative investments but this phenomenon will not be tolerated much longer, Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud said on Saturday, pointing out that measures are being explored to deal with such persons.He told farmers along the Essequibo Coast that they will not be ‘used’ and ‘abused’ by some delinquent millers.Addressing the issue of Mahaicony Rice Mills owing farmers huge sums of monies, the Minister said that efforts are being made to contact the headquarters of the company in Trinidad to deal with the matter.According to him, on four occasions he invited representatives from the company to visit his office to discuss the issue of non-payments to farmers but they have refused.Minister Robert Persaud The Minister pointed out that the amendment to the Rice Factories Act was done to protect farmers.In the Act it is stated that millers must settle a certain percentage of their commitments to the farmers before their licenses are eligible for renewal.It also states that the amount of money that is outstanding must be paid,Wholesale Jerseys 2018, not only within a stipulated time, but by calculating the interest rate using that of the Bank of Guyana figure.“Under the Act we were able to revoke the licences of some companies and we even denied some licences. However, we were taken to the court and we were ordered to reinstall the licences.”Persaud said that whilst the legislation is in place to protect the industry,Jae Crowder Jersey, ‘funny things’ happen in this society.“So we had to respect the court orders…we were even delinquent in carrying out those orders and we got a contempt order also…but going to jail is not a nice thing…so to prevent us from going to jail we had to proceed and abide.”He explained to farmers that the record also shows that the paddy that was sold to the mills were milled and exported.Based on information, he pointed out, it is also known that instead of the money being repatriated into the local banking system to pay the farmers,Cheap Arizona Diamondbacks Hoodies, some of the money was being used to build ‘Basmattie Mill’ in India and build mills in Trinidad.“People are using the farmers as bankers…If they want money to finance these projects they should go to the banking system…Our farmers are not bankers.”The Minister also pointed out that while there are some delinquent millers,wholesale jerseys, there are others that are very committed to the development of the industry.On Wednesday last,China Jerseys For Sale, General Secretary of the Rice Producers Association, Dharamkumar Seeraj, said that Mahaicony Rice Mills owes over $600M to farmers even as the current rice crop is being harvested.He noted that the company is dealing with farmers “in a way that is almost contentious.”According to him, efforts were made to work with the company in order to pool resources and strength to address the outstanding payment issue.He explained that under the Financial Institutional Act, foreign companies have a limit by law as to how much they can borrow, pointing out that Mahaicony Rice Mills limit has been exhausted.In the interest of farmers,China NFL Jerseys, he noted, the Ministry of Finance has agreed to expand the loan portfolio of Mahaicony Rice Mills, if the loan is passed down as direct payments to farmers.But the company is yet to submit the list of farmers that are owed.
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