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You’re Running Out Of Steam, Prasad Told As He Questions $10m For Farmers

The National Federation Party (NFP) is running out of steam, says Attorney–General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He made this comment while responding in Parliament yesterday to issues on Government’s $10million subsidy for
23 May 2017 11:00
You’re Running Out Of Steam, Prasad Told As He Questions $10m For Farmers
Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The National Federation Party (NFP) is running out of steam, says Attorney–General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He made this comment while responding in Parliament yesterday to issues on Government’s $10million subsidy for sugarcane farmers.

Last week Government made an announcement for an additional $10million payout in respect to the fourth cane payment.

After Tropical Cyclone Winston, he said they had tried to look into areas which were heavily affected.

The A-G said they had decided to assist sugarcane farmers who got nothing after deductions from the fourth cane payment.

He then highlighted comments made by NFP on the move by the Government.

The reality was, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, that some people didn’t like the decision after the announcement was made, especially certain politicians.

To an extent, he said that a group would be staging a march next week in Labasa to show their disappointment. But, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said most sugarcane farmers were really happy after the announcement.

He said the disagreement by some people on the pay-out had been driven by political parties.

The A-G said the negative comments by the NFP on the payout that might have hurt sugarcane farmers and that the party had treated the issue like a political football.

He also revealed that party leader, Biman Prasad opposed the issue being highlighted in Parliament after it had been approved by the business committee.

“When we provide assistance it hurts the NFP,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

NFP had claimed that Government was throwing money to the people.

The sugarcane farmers, he said were seen as one of the biggest contributors to the Fijian economy.

Mr Prasad said it was hilarious the A-G kept blaming politicians. He then asked that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to clarify the issue on the reduction of sugarcane production in Fiji.

“The honourable members is the one who has the joke on him,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum responded.

He said the NFP was trying to lure the sugarcane farmers to their side.

“They have to be mindful don’t start the race too early my friend. Don’t start the race too early, you will run out of steam and in fact I am about to tell you that you are running out of steam very soon, you are about to run out of steam very soon because your ammunition will be running out,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum told Mr Prasad.

He said that NFP should refrain from politicising the sugarcane industry.

“Focus on truly helping farmers on the long term and sustainable basis not because the elections are around the corner.

“The message to the farmers is that we don’t want other people to take advantage of them, sometimes we need to make decisions which will not give you a reward just now, but need to have a long impact,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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