13th November 03:27 AM
Fiji Pine pays record $7 million in bonus payments to iTaukei landowners
By Vijay Narayan
Monday 21/10/2019
[Photo: Fijian Government]

Fiji Pine Group of Companies has today announced record bonus payments to iTaukei landowners totalling $7 million for the record profit in 2018.

While announcing the record bonus payments, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the returns now total $19 million since these payments were incepted in 2013.

Bainimarama commended the company’s prudent management.

After widespread consultations with landowner shareholders, the Fiji Pine Board has also decided to re-invest 70 percent of the bonuses into capital projects for the landowners.

Group Executive Chairman, Faiz Khan says the cut-off for re-investment is a minimum of $20,000 entitlement in bonuses. The balance of the money will be equally distributed, and are in addition to forest levies, stumpage and ground rent.

It has been announced that landowners can choose to invest in building houses, improving water and sanitation facilities in their communities, buying machinery and vehicles for setting up a business, buying fishing boats and outboard engines, renting or buying space for their business aspirations, or invest in anything with a view to long term benefits or returns.

At least 50 percent of the landowning unit has to agree to the investment.

Bainimarama says 2018 was the best year in the history of Fiji's pine industry and that is precisely because of the strategic decision made by the government in 2011 and the reforms and procedures being carried out since that time.

He says the company is also debt free and all the money generated by Fiji Pine stays in Fiji, benefitting Fijian families and adding fire to the Fijian economy.

Bainimarama also called on the landowners not to listen to people who try to score cheap political points. 

The bonus payment to the landowners in the pine industry has increased from $300,000 to $7 million. 

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