28 Aug 2002

Fiji government called on to act in sugar industry crisis

4:27 pm on 28 August 2002

The chairman of the Fiji Sugar Commission is calling on the government to take urgent action over the crisis facing the industry.

Gerald Barrack says the Fiji Sugar Corporation is insolvent and is only being kept going because of a government guarantee.

He says that's not enough and it's time the government acted on their report, presented nearly a year ago, which proposes a complete restructure of the sugar industry.

"I think the message is very clear, that we need to get on with it. Time has run out and if we do act now then, we the industry leaders believe that we can ensure that the industry continues, not at the same level,and the same size, it's going to be a much smaller industry."

Mr Barrack also says the government should reject the recommendations of a review committee it appointed which only proposed reshuffling what already exists in the sugar industry.

The FSC chairman says the government shouldn't believe that its loan guarantee gives it lots of time in which to make a decision.