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Caroni Green, GHRSL closing

Friday, March 17, 2017

A number of workers will be affected by the upcoming closure of Caroni Green Ltd and the Government Human Resource Service Co Ltd which are among small state enterprises to be shut down.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley confirmed the situation at yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing.

He said Government has been assessing the performance among state enterprises—apart from the TDC—and had received reports on this. Not all such companies had passed muster, he said, adding that some had passed the point of usefulness, some were “losing their way” and others were grossly under-performing. One or two were absorbing money and not contributing much.

Among small companies facing closure are Caroni Green Ltd and GHRSC, he said.

GHRSC which began operations in December 2006, under the Manning PNM administration, is geared to enhance the public service’s human resource capacity by securing talent, locally and internationally.

Caroni Green Ltd, a pepper production company, started in 2013 under the past PP administration.

Rowley said CGL was spending $6m to produce 700,000 peppers and facing private sector competition. He said Government should instead support farmers to grow peppers which is what would be done.

PM said a handful of people at CGL would be affected and a couple dozen at GHRSC. Movement towards closure would be done over two to three months when the employees would be given notice.

Rowley said it had to be accepted that T&T is in a difficult period and it fell to Government to take tough decisions and action to secure the wider national interest. He said Government couldn’t take the position of “don’t touch nothing - leave it so.”

Despite T&T’s current circumstances, he added, it has the opportunity to improve and he didn’t want anyone to think T&T is in a hopeless situation, rather a challenging situation.

“How we behave and respond to those challenges will determine what picture is being painted for us in future,” he said, adding that TT has faced a “perfect storm” of combined negatives including lower energy prices.

Rowley said if Government is unpopular, it’s because it was doing unpopular things to reduce expenditure and is bringing this down in a managed way so the economy doesn’t “crash”. In reducing expenditure, there would also be “...dislocations here and there and some may lose jobs..but we’re looking for other ways to create opportunities to ensure people get jobs,” he added.

On the latest economic ratings from Central Bank, Rowley said if revenue does not increase, the only way to stay out of the IMF’s hands is to reduce expenditure. He added Government was working on initiatives to increase revenue.


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