The Government of Belize also issued a statement on Tuesday saying that Government has been actively trying to assist in resolving the difficulties that have so far prevented the signing of that commercial agreement between BSCFA and ASR/BSI.
The release says that “Government hopes that the second BSCFA General Assembly vote scheduled for this Sunday will, like the first vote, ratify the agreement, mandate its signing, and allow now for the crop to start.”
The release did not end there, GOB took a jab at the NTUCB and ROC saying, “Government continues to be concerned at the wrong-headedness of the views and positions being propagated by the NTUCB, joined now by the Rod of Correction (ROC). These organizations seem determined to prevent a crop, derail the sugar industry and cause the destruction of the livelihoods of the very farmers they say they support. In urging the BSCFA not to sign the hard-won agreement with ASR/BSI, NTUCB/ROC says that the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) can force the BSI factory to receive cane against its will, and to mill and market the cane without the dispute being resolved. In support of this outrageous stance, NTUCB/ROC completely misrepresents the legal position and ignores the practical fact that successful operation of the sugar industry in Belize requires the free consent and voluntary participation of both the grower and the miller of the cane.”
The release continues that “The Government of Belize makes clear that it would be unthinkable in a democracy based on the rule of law, respect for private property and the rights of investors, for any arm of the state to seek to use compulsion against any party to a private-sector commercial dispute. And, not surprisingly, the Sugar Industry Act neither contemplates nor allows any such thing.“
GOB says it will not employ any strong arm tactics. It says, ASR/BSI having conceded fully the last two demands of the BSCFA, Government urges the General Membership to give the go ahead on Sunday for the agreement to be signed, the crop to start, money to be made, mortgages paid and the economy of the North saved.