SUNBIZ

Singh Stresses Benefits Of FSC Coming Under Government

  Government taking the ownership of the Fiji Sugar Corporation will ensure the industry grows further, says Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Jitendra Singh. Mr Singh yesterday presented before the Standing
05 May 2016 10:03
Singh Stresses Benefits Of FSC Coming Under Government
standing committee2 sugar

 

Government taking the ownership of the Fiji Sugar Corporation will ensure the industry grows further, says Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Jitendra Singh.

Mr Singh yesterday presented before the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs on the Reform of Sugar Cane Industry Bill explaining the changes proposed in the Bill.

He feels this will be one of those reforms where Government taking control will propel the industry to greater heights.

Mr Singh explained that in the existing arrangement, some functions were without the agencies and had not performed up to expectations.

“So we are trying to stop that from happening further and taking this to see what we can do to improve the industry going forward,” he said.

“The bill is part of the process that started in 2009 so we are just streamlining functions.”

One of the other proposals is for the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji to be taken back to the Fiji Sugar Corporation with a vested interest in researching new cane varieties.

 

More discussions

The Standing Committee also heard on the Sugar Cane Growers Fund (Amendment) Bill No. 20 2016.

Mr Singh said the Bill does not propose Government taking control of the farmers.

“The farmers will still be operating but some of the arrangements with the Cane Growers Council where the chairmanship is going to be with the Director for Sugar,” he said.

“This is basically Government’s intention is to respond quickly to the industry’s concerns.

“If the Government is involved in it, then we will ensure the industry works better.

“With us being involved, we will be able to get the growers to work quickly, to facilitate Government’s response quickly so the industry continues to operate efficiently.

“No matter what the growers do or whoever, in the end, the people will question the Government.”

Assistant Minister, Local Government, Housing & Environment, Lorna Eden, said: “This Bill will take into consideration everything and natural disasters will be one of the major ones, seeing that we had two big natural disasters that hit Fiji.”

The Standing Committee will visit major sugar stakeholders for public hearings next week.

EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

 

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