The National Federation Party has slammed the Fiji Sugar Corporation for delaying the payout of the $3.05 per tonne special cane payment and has demanded that the FSC make the payout immediately as it was withheld last year specifically to be paid well before the start of the 2018 school year.
NFP General Secretary Jagannath Sami says when the final cane payment for the 2016 season of 44 cents was topped up by $9.15 by Government last October, FSC had announced that a sum of $3.05 per tonne would be paid well before the start of the 2018 school year.
“This has not been done and cane growers and their families are struggling to purchase school necessities for their children because the new school year starts on January 15th, which is next Monday”.
“FSC should immediately release the payment. It is not from their share of proceeds but taxpayers’ funds and has been clearly intended to assist our growers”.
“Furthermore, there should not be any deductions whatsoever from this special payment, unlike last October when more than 70% or around 9,000 growers were virtually left penniless due to deductions from the final payment of $2016”.
“We also call on the Minister for Sugar who is the Prime Minister to direct FSC to firstly make the payment immediately and secondly refrain from making any deductions”.
“Furthermore, the PM and the Sugar Cane Growers Council should write to the commercial lending institutions and the Sugar Cane Growers Fund not to make any deductions for debt repayment”.
NFP General Secretary