National Federation Party - Fiji
Massive sugar price hike aimed at bailing out a Bankrupt FSC
January 20, 2022
The exorbitant increase in the price of sugar with the concurrence of the Fiji First Government is aimed at bailing out a bankrupt Fiji Sugar Corporation, said National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.
Professor Prasad said the increase in price by 90 cents per kilogram or more than 64%, which was approved by the Fijian Competition & Consumer Commission (FCCC), is yet another example of complete lack of compassion and empathy towards the people by a heartless government.
The NFP Leader said in parliament on 16th August last year Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar confirmed that the FSC consulted Government before making the submission in response to a question by NFP President Honourable Pio Tikoduadua. He also asked him why FSC was submitting for a massive price hike on the face of severe hardship and financial strain faced by the people”.
“This latest episode of heaping more misery on the people is similar to government’s refusal to remove extra 20 cents per litre duty on fuel imposed from 1st April 2020, despite fuel prices hitting the roof and adversely impacting the cost of other services. The hike in price of sugar will have a similar flow-on effect”.
“It is totally ridiculous for the FCCC to camouflage this unjust and unfair action by saying it will boost the income of cane growers”.
“This is the kind of sugar-coating adopted by this government and its agencies to hide the mess they have created”.
“FCCC doesn’t say that the FSC asked for the price hike to provide a financial lifeline to the technically insolvent corporation. FSC had also submitted that it was going to shut down a mill on Viti Levu, leaving only one operational mill to crush cane from 6 cane growing districts”.
“The reality is that this government, despite pumping in millions of dollars into FSC and the industry, has miserably failed to revive the industry or boost production because it wants to manage everything with an iron-fist by totally dismantling the rights of growers who are the largest and most important stakeholders in the industry”.
“This latest act of inflicting more pain and misery on the people is another reminder of the type of governance imposed on the nation in the last 15 years”.
“Fortunately, the people have a chance to see a new dawn of hope, equal opportunities, fair-play and justice after the elections”.