14 Jan 2008

Former Fiji opposition leader enters row over stoppage of water exports

8:39 am on 14 January 2008

Fiji's ousted opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has called on the interim finance minister and the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority, or FIRCA, to use a conciliatory approach towards the water company Fiji Water.

FIRCA stopped shipping agents from exporting Fiji Water without formal notification and explanation.

Mr Beddoes has told the Fiji Times that Fiji Water's investments into Fiji were significant.

And the US State Department said it was concerned about the developments.

FIRCA's chief executive Jitoko Tikolevu said the consignment was stopped last week over valuation issues.

He says a carton is sold to the American parent company for 4 US dollars but put on the market for 50 dollars without adding anything to Fiji's foreign reserves.