The Sugar Insurance Fund Board will extend the financial support given to small planters for Crop 2018 to other categories of producers, namely, large planters and millers. This measure endorsed by Government is one of the recommendations made by the Technical Committee set up to look into the immediate difficulties being faced by the sugar industry, pending the outcome of the study being undertaken by the World Bank in the sugar sector.
Another proposition sanctioned by Government relate to the Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund (PRGF) whose object is to provide for the payment of a gratuity to a worker, on his retirement; to the legal heirs of a worker, on the death of the worker; to a self-employed who has contributed to the PRGF, on his retirement; or to the legal heirs of a self-employed who has contributed to the PRGF, on the death of the self-employed.
As regards the PRGF, employers in the sugar cane industry will, for past years of service of their employees up to 31 December 2019, compute the amount due as lump sum on the basis of the provisions of the relevant Remuneration Orders or enactment. As from 1 January 2020, the contribution will be according to the prevailing rate of the PRGF and the computation of gratuity for their years of service post 31 December 2019 will be in accordance with the provisions of the Workers' Rights Act.
In this respect, the regulations to be made by the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training will cater for the rate to be applicable for the PRGF and will further provide for a benchmarking with a view to ensuring that the employees in that sector are not worse off.
Moreover, as recommended by the Technical Committee, an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities and the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has been set up to determine the remuneration for bagasse for Crop 2019.