Biman: Too little, too late

Professor Biman Prasad of Opposition (left) exits parliament after an earlier sitting. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

TOO little, too late.

This was the reaction of National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad to the 2018-2019 National Budget allocation of $62.3 million to the sugar industry.

He also said the setting up of a Sugar Stabilisation Fund only came about in this year’s budget after the NFP had made known its intention to establish a $100 per tonne minimum guaranteed cane payment for five years.

“This Government never had a solution for the industry for the past 12 years,” he claimed.

“It refused to listen to good advice and ideas from the Opposition and even threw out all attempts for bipartisan approach to getting the industry back on track.

“It was only in the last three years when the NFP came out with a real solution — $100 per tonne minimum guaranteed price — that this Government is struggling to put out anything in a poor attempt to rescue the industry.

“The weedicide, fertiliser and other subsidies do not provide the real solution, the NFP will offer real and practical solutions when we come into government.

“A restructured Sugar Cane Growers Council and minimum guaranteed price of $100 a tonne will help bring about the stability that is required.”