Admission of guilt
Former execs involved
By Felix Chaudhary,
The Fiji Times. Tuesday, March 07, 2017
FORMER Fiji Sugar Corporation executives were involved in the decision to abolish organisations such as the Sugar Commission of Fiji, Fiji Sugar Marketing and the termination of 38 councillors on the Sugar Cane Growers Council board.
This revelation by outgoing Sugar Ministry director Viliame Gucake should put to rest speculation as to who was the “brainchild” behind the decommissioning of bodies that had grower representation.
“In early December 2008 former CEO FSC Rasheed Ali and senior staff were engaged by Government to do a quick review or snapshot of the industry,” he said.
“And based on their report, which was done in two weeks, one of the recommendations was to do away with the Fiji Sugar Marketing Company.
“The second was to do away with the Sugar Commission of Fiji and the third was to do away with the 38 councillors that made up the board of the Sugar Cane Growers Council.
“And the reason I remember this was because I drafted the Cabinet paper.
“FSM was to go by March 2009, SCOF by August 2009 and the 38 councillors were to be terminated in September/October 2009.”
While Mr Gucake did not reveal the reasons farmers respresentation was removed, Prime Minister and Sugar Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had said the politicisation of the organisations was the main reason for them being de-established.
Among those involved in the review with Mr Ali were former FSC CEO, Deo Saran and former chairman Gautam Ramswarup.
The Sugar Commission of Fiji, Sugar Industry Tribunal and Sugar Cane Growers Council were formed in 1984 under reforms to the Sugar Industry Act.
The Fiji Sugar Marketing Co Ltd was established in 1976.