NATION

Speak The Truth, Minister Urges MPs, Calls Out Kuridrani

Parliament has been told that members need to be factual when they make statements or address the House. The statement was made by Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel
01 Dec 2018 10:51
Speak The Truth, Minister Urges MPs, Calls Out Kuridrani
Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar

Parliament has been told that members need to be factual when they make statements or address the House.

The statement was made by Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar, who is the youngest Cabinet minister.

He made the call as he delivered his address yesterday in which he corrected what he described as false information SODELPA MP Inosi Kuridrani had given Parliament.

Mr Kuridrani, in his maiden speech, claimed that his tribe Yavusa Vusu, the traditional custodian of the qoliqoli from Namatakula in Nadroga, had seen licences issued to investors in that area without any Environmental Impact Assessment conducted.

This was among other claims the MP from Namatakula made.

Mr Kuridrani said: “To make matters worse, we have not met the investor despite our repeated requests …”

Mr Sudhakar asked that Mr Kuridrani apologise to the House as he gave the facts on the cases highlighted.

“I would like to assure this august House that no such licence or lease for the use of the qoliqoli had been approved by the Ministry of Lands,” he said.

“In fact, the work is still in progress. On the claim of no consultation, in fact there had been numerous done with the Vanua Vusu on September 12, 2016, and July 27, 2017.

“In fact the meeting held on July 27, 2017, at 12pm was held in Namatakula Community Hall in Namatakula Village, which is Honourable Kuridrani’s village. The meeting records indicated that Honourable Kuridrani was present in that meeting in his capacity as the adviser of the Yavusa Vusu.

“On the EIA, Honourable Kuridrani is correct that no EIA has been done, but it is because the foreshore leasing process is in progress. For the demarcation of the qoliqoli boundary the work is still in progress.

“We acknowledge the maiden speech by the learned member, but Hon. Kuridrani should do the honourable thing and stop misleading this house and in fact he should apologise for his incorrect statement,” he said.

Mr Sudhakar also said for the first time, Government was paying 80 percent royalties to the landowners for their minerals.

  • To date, a total of $1,388,996.69 million in the form of mineral royalty payment have been paid for:
  • Vatukoula Gold Mine landowners $731, 600.72
  • Nasomo Settlement $62,600.64 (Vatukoula Gold Mine Landowners);
  • MataqaliSerau$40,964.82 (Naibulu Bauxite Mine Dreketi, Macuata);
  • Mataqali Naita $12,471.93 (Nawailevu Bauxite Mine Bua); and
  • Mataqali Nawaicobo $541,358.59 (Nawailevu Bauxite Mine Bua).

Edited by Epineri Vula

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