5 Dec 2005

Fiji Labour senator to pursue India payment

3:08 pm on 5 December 2005

The Fiji Labour senator involved in a dispute over payment for his work connected to a multi-million dollar loan, says he will pursue the matter through the courts if necessary.

Anand Singh says he spent 18 months of his time and money to travel to India to broker the loan from India's Exim bank to the Fiji Sugar Corporation, the FSC, worth a total of 52 million U.S. dollars.

And, he's demanding payment from the Indian High Commission in Suva for his work.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has said it would be shameful if Mr Singh took legal action to force the Indian government to pay up because it could stop the reform process.

But, the senator says he's been sidelined by the government and will go to court if he has to.

"They're basically saying this is a government to government deal, it's a bilateral arrangement and private individuals do not come into play. My argument, of course, is that I was not the catalyst to bring this about, this would never have been brought about. In any event, I had a certain representation being made by the Indian High Commission and I want to hold them to it."

Mr Singh would not give details about how much money he is asking for but says he hopes to have discussions with the commission this week.