12 Jun 2002

Mahendra Chaudhry and Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase agree to work together

4:55 pm on 12 June 2002

The leader of Fiji's Labour Party Mahendra Chaudhry says he will discuss land and sugar production issues with the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase.

Mr Chaudhry says the prime minister has agreed to meet with him to discuss solutions to the two issues which are adversly affecting the Fiji economy.

The two leaders met over the weekend to discuss a number of issues including the impasse over Labour's exclusion from the Cabinet. ,

That issue they decided to leave to be resolved by the Supreme court.

Mr Chaudhry says salvaging Fiji's sugar industry depends on the government's ability to encourage Indian farmers who left their lands to return and begin sugar cane production.

"Land vacated by Indian tenants is reverting to bush, Indian tenants who have vacated the land, they're unlikely to return, it is of course having serious implications on our sugar industry which is facing serious problems both on the production and the other is of course the dire straights in which the Sugar Corporation finds itself as a result of rapidly declining cane production."

Mahendra Chaudhry