Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called on newspaper company, Fiji Times Limited and some politicians to stop the mischief making as he says that these organisations are misleading the farmers about the closure of the Penang Sugar Mill in Rakiraki.
While making the announcement on a major assistance package for cane farmers totaling $10 million, Sayed-Khaiyum said that as has been numerously stated, there won’t be any additional burden on any of the farmers that used to take cane to the Penang Mill.
Sayed-Khaiyum says any additional cost for transportation of the cane from Penang to Rarawai Mill will be picked up by FSC working in conjunction with the government.
He says the additional cartage cost is about 5.1 million dollars which will be borne by FSC working in conjunction with the government.
The Acting Prime Minister says some of the organisations are misleading the cane farmers.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the government together with FSC is providing and trying to seek some fundamental changes to an industry that has been neglected for decades.
He says the state of the mills and railway system is something that did not happen overnight.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the government is committed to a fundamental change to ensure the sustainability of the sugar industry and to ensure that the farmers can benefit from the industry.
He says the assistance to farmers will continue while some continue to build castles in the sky.
Meanwhile National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says the Prime Minister and Attorney General should understand that they are politicians as well.
Professor Prasad believes that their comments have resulted in the government taking action.
Prasad also maintains that Penang Mill could have been repaired after Cyclone Winston.
He says NFP will build a new sugar mill in Rakiraki if it forms the next government.
FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry stresses that the government’s action has come about after pressure from the opposition.
Chaudhry also says that there will be additional costs for farmers in Ra even after the transportation costs are looked after by the FSC and government.
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