Waqavonovono’s sugary input
I read with interest Pita Waqavonovono’s submissions on behalf of SODELPA on the reform of the Sugar Cane Industry Bill 2016 before the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs in Parliament. As reported in the FS 24/05/16 Page 5 titled: “SODELPA says Sugar Industry at Crossroads”, he is on record for rightly alluding to the problems faced by our sugarcane industry which includes the nonrenewal of sugarcane land leases together with its milling and transportation problems.
Pita has fallen short of admitting to the fact that it was his very own Ro Teimumu Kepa led SODELPA together with former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase who led SDL Party including the Sitiveni Rabuka Government combined with their ultra-nationalist stand and their non-inclusive discriminating policies, were all involved in the downfall of our sugar industry. It caused undue strain on our economy and to those directly involved in it including the necessary stop-leak plug reform policies put in place by the FijiFirst Government. His contribution is nothing new but a childish ill-conceived cheap political stunt to justify what the majority of Fijians and cane farmers throughout Fiji already know. But for those of us who really do come from a sugarcane farming background, we know where the problem lies.
Please Pita, don’t talk about the sugarcane industry when you know absolutely nothing about its planting, harvesting and milling together with its unwarranted deep rooted discriminating politics.
In the national interest, the only solution is for Government to remain the owner 100 per cent. With this, it can protect, maximise and ensure its long term viability relevant to our country’s economy including all its frontline stakeholders. The FSC should not be a plaything and cannot be allowed to be owned by a particular organisation be it a union, an association or a political party. It must belong to Government irrespective of which one comes into power because the sugar industry is about our country’s interests and its livelihood. It simply cannot be left to ruin in the wrong hands.
Labasa was lucky that Tropical Cyclone Winston did not come our way. But the biggest damage to hit Labasa is that grog price went from $40 per kilogramme (kg) to $70/kg. Could the Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Premila Kumar or the new mediation centre look into this price hike and normalise the situation in the Northern Division?
maintenance job first before jumping onto the next. I would also like to suggest to Government to do a monthly billing because the three-month billing is too much. Government should have a debate on this in Parliament. iTaukei