NATION

Sayed-Khaiyum Explains Why NFP Leader’s Remarks on Price of Butter is Incorrect

Tell the truth to peo­ple about the price of butter, says Acting Prime Minister and Attor­ney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. While responding to ques­tions on FBC’s Aaina pro­gramme hosted by Shammi Lochan,
01 Mar 2018 11:00
Sayed-Khaiyum Explains Why NFP Leader’s Remarks on Price of Butter is Incorrect
Acting Prime Minister, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Tell the truth to peo­ple about the price of butter, says Acting Prime Minister and Attor­ney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

While responding to ques­tions on FBC’s Aaina pro­gramme hosted by Shammi Lochan, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the price of butter had increased worldwide.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s com­ments followed remarks made by National Federa­tion Party leader Biman Prasad in Labasa that Gov­ernment policies had led to the increase in the price of butter.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum point­ed out that butter is a price controlled item.

He explained that it would cost higher in Labasa com­pared to Viti Levu because freight cost is also taken into account.

He pointed out that simi­larly when things produced in Vanua Levu were sent to be sold in Viti Levu or the outer islands, the cartage cost was taken into account when the retail prices of those commodities were worked out.

Regarding Mr Prasad’s comments that the price of butter had increased be­cause of government poli­cies, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this was incorrect and pointed out that duty on import of milk and milk products was in place from previously.

He pointed out that Rewa Dairy (before it was sold and rebranded as Fiji Dairy) also used to buy bulk butter from New Zea­land.

He explained that Fiji Dairy buys slabs of New Zealand butter, add salt to it in Fiji, churn it and sells it as Rewa Butter and if the price of butter in New Zea­land increases, it will have a direct impact on the cost of it in Fiji.

He pointed out that an economist such as Biman Prasad is aware of this. He also pointed out that there had been 27 per cent duty on import of milk and milk products imposed even be­fore this Government came into power.

Government merely in­creased it by five per cent to further protect the Fijian dairy industry and also the value of the shares held by farmers in Fiji Dairy.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has also cautioned Fijians to prepare for an increase in the price of raisin.

The price of raisin has al­ready increased by about 50 per cent in America and it is the example of another product which Fiji does not produce and buys from overseas and its price is de­termined by the world price.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfi­kar

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