Monday, December 28, 2009

Notes of a journeyman - What would Cheddie say?

Our external public debt increased 11% from June 08 to june 09.

Cheddie Jagan would have said that this "barefaced" government is "impoverishing" this country and our future generations! Children are indebted before they are born.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas to all

King Sugar

King Sugar - GuySuCo and the Nation Part I

Excerpt from Sasenarine Singh's letter to Kaieteur News: (Direct Quote)

Reality check No. 1:- 2010 will remain a tough year for GuySuCo.

Let us accept that the best brains in sugar such as Dr. Gopaul’s were integral in designing the TP and thus we must accept this plan has merit in its contribution to the industry. However, does the plan cater for the following which I encourage any journalist to ask Mr. Hanoman the next time he is interviewed?

1. Are there adequate planning systems in place to optimise sugar cane cultivation using selective mechanisation? Mechanisation must be intensified in this industry as more and more of the off-springs of the cane cutter either migrate to other types of work or migrate out of Guyana. How much of the cane is harvested mechanically today and what is the plan for the next 12 months and by when 50% of the cane will be reaped mechanically?

2. Is the mix of cropping and grinding optimally matched? Are there enough cane available in the estates (save and except Skeldon) at the right time to feed the sugar factories? After the Chinese have sorted the teething issues at Skeldon, there is still an overwhelming concern that there are inadequate cane in the ground to feed the new factory. Does the TP cater for a timeline by which this anomaly is sorted and what immediate actions are in train to realise this objective? The Government can take actions such as providing partial bank guarantee in order for the private cane-farmers to secure the required resources to accelerate development and planting of the land. Is this action actively being taken? How much of the newly developed land is now planted?

3. Is the production chain well synchronised? Operations on an estate involve soil tillage, bed preparation, planting, herbicides application, fertiliser application, harvesting, loading, transporting and milling. Does the planning process identify early kinks in the production chain and thus allow for measures to be taken to resolve the issue in a timely manner to ensure that the milling process is not adversely affected?

4. Are there adequate utilisations of their owner-managed machinery? Should this process drive increased levels of equipment leasing (tractors etc) rather than owning? Essentially GuySuCo must own some of its equipment but there is scope for greater leasing of equipment whereby cash resources will only be used when equipment are engaged in productive income earning activities.

5. Is there active engage the workers to get their buy-in of the plans of the industry? GAWU most certainly is not fully on board and quite justifiable so. GAWU firmly believes that the management has under-performed resulting in this state of affairs. However at this critical junction in the industry’s future GAWU has to “give a little”, but when one reads in the national press that an Engineer is costing the industry over $2 million a month, there are no incentives for GAWU to give anything. The industrial relations aspect must be rebuilt since it appears that the employees no longer trust the employer. The sugar union should be brought to the table, along with their skilled accountant (thank you Yog) to assess the cash flow projections for 2010 with full evidence of each figure. The union must be advised of the strategies to increase revenue and reduce cost and what action the management will commit to, if there are significant adverse variances.

6. Is there adequate accountability in the industry? The term of employment for Heads of Estate and other Top Management Officers must be changed to contractual employees with clear performance benchmarks inserted into their contracts. For example, the Skeldon Estate will meet a target of X by 2010 and if not, these are the consequences, if there is no clear justification. No one should be sacred in the industry any more; it should be run like a business if it is to survive.

I said almost a year ago that sugar is Guyana’s blood stream and the haemorrhaging of the industry has to be stopped as it is intrinsically linked to the nation’s future. The evidence reveals that GuySuCo continues to suffer from poor decision making, improperly targeted resources, a mismatch of skills, under-performance of the operating systems and adverse weather. Of all these issues, GuySuCo’s biggest failure is its inability to strike a balance between rewarding hard labour/innovation on the Estates and executives protecting their turf. Weather disruptions can rapidly worsen an already poor financial situation as a result of poor leadership (I am not blaming Mr. Hanoman here; this is more directed at Booker-Tate Management and the previous local management many of whom are still in the system). Unfortunately, the weather was part of the problem, but the weather was not the main problem. It management duh!

Management has to come clean with the workers and slash waste and extravagance at all levels. The culture of investing in world class agronomical practices at all time must be embraced as well as listening to the workers. The industry itself is a reservoir of innovative ideas, but few of these bottom-up ideas see the light of day. Workers are best placed to know what would work best in their local situation but they get neither the resources nor support for their ideas to better the industry.

I think a start was made with the TP but the realities on the ground to date demonstrate that all is still not well at GuySuCo. The onus is on the Board of Directors to find out why the productivity, profitability and prosperity of the industry is not improving.

The management Guru Peter Druker said “Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information”.

He further stated that “Executives owe it to the organisation and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.” I trust that members of the Board of Director at GuySuCo are students of Peter Druker.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What will the PPP be like in 3 years?

The following is pure hypothetical and assumes that Jagdeo is "persuaded" to go for a 3rd term:
1. People cannot call on a person who is unwilling. Assume(?) Jagdeo KNOWS and LEADS the call for his 3rd term.
2. Has carefully manipulated and silenced all potential opposition (both in and out of the PPP).

We have seen that anyone or any company who dare to ‘bad-talk’ Jagdeo, will suffer. For example Navin Chanderpal criticized the 3rd term thingy at Wugar-workers’ Providence Stadium. He was fired.

For the companies, “suddenly” GRA holds up their imports, GRA initiates audits, GRA investigates their VAT books. Then, GPL will 'discover' a dirty connection. Any legal matter languishing in the courts will be suddenly brought forward for hearing. NOW, we are NOT saying that Jagdeo does all of this, it MAY be just an act of God.

However, such companies are also ridiculed and criticized by the HOS.

For some individuals, eg. Geri Goo: at the initial independent thought, the HOS lashes out at him….. Suddenly Geri gets selected for ownership of prime properties. Soon, Geri is seen as his back-pocket. Geri now sits in every committee to guide the private sector into acquiescence and praiseful comments of the almighty.

Ministers and political wannnabees: they are carefully selected and placed in boards and committees and reminded that they are there by the Grace of the big one. Careful comments coupled with careful ridicule ensure that sooner than later they are followers. Those that follow and praise are allocated large budgets, like MOA. Those that prove to be a challenge will be given tasks to fail. They will be given a small budget, a large task and allocated the persons to work with - failure, ridicule, downsize, silence. And if this does not work, set up rumors and email about families etc. Silence. Dead.

So, the PPP is carefully taken care of.

Let’s turn to PPP internal

Congress is manipulated, the executive committee is ‘selected’. The current ExCo members are: Ali Baksh, Komal Chand, Navin Chanderpaul, Clinton Collymore, Bharrat Jaadeo, Roger Luncheon, Zulficar Mohamed, Haripersaud Nokta, Reepu Persaud, Robert Persaud, Ulric Ramanah, Ralph Ramkarran, Clement Rohee, Gail Teixeira, Donald Ramoutar.

Of the above list the only persons that can stand up to Jagdeo would be Komal Chand and MAYBE Navin Chanderpaul, but he’s jobless.

The aspirations of Donald Ramoutar will be shattered. The once mighty and well-liked Gail is reduced to an underling of Jagdeo. We theorize that under Jagdeo’s 3rd term, Gail will become the General Secretary to the party. In addition, Airfan and other Jagdeoites will become more entrenched within the PPP - and more powerful. Rohee will continue to float, Frank will be frustrated, Ralph is history, Moses will retire soon, Navin will shut up.

The wise old heads like Feroze will soon stop emerging from their homes, their minds stuck in the glorious dreams of yesteryear and their freedom of speech removed.
Komal Chand will eventually retire – and like Cheddi, Janet and a host of past greats – he will leave disillusioned and disheartened at what has become of the people he helped to train and grow.

So, for the next three years, we see the content of the exco changing as well as the GS of the party.

To be continued……………..

Thursday, December 10, 2009

.....announces the Discovery of a new Element

Our Laboratory has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 - 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each re-organization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.

This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jagdeo’s intent on Sugar becomes crystallized

The situation at Guysuco gets worse with each passing day. Today the Corporation announced that it may not be able to pay wages this week.

The timing is excellent since a decision is expected from the tribunal in the next week. So this forces their hand.

We wish to opine that the Jagdeo Government is purposely cheating the sugar workers. This industry will close down because of the pitiable economics of the economist Jagdeo:

The PPP Government took 40 MILLION USD in land from the company WITHOUT PAYING A CENT. Those lands were supposed to be sold to raise funds for the company’s new factory.

This jagdeo government seized the lands – the company then had to take bread from the workers’ mouths to fund the new factory and now they can’t find money to pay the wages. Yet the CEO earns double-digit millions per month!

This is the "working class" President that heads Caricom, that tours the world at the sugar workers expense to sell carbon credits. At home they cannot honor their debts, 1000 children will starve next week for a meal and 20,000 workers will develop stress, heart and hypertension problems as they consider their next helpless move.

Yes, a third term! To dig the graves!

Come on economist, pay back the workers the 40 million USD that was stolen from them!