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Action plan for sugar to take over reforms

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, November 10, 2012

THE Ministry for Sugar and sugar industry stakeholders are poised to introduce and implement a Sugar Action Plan (SAP) designed to take over from the reforms introduced in 2010.

Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi said the SAP would focus on key issues affecting the industry and provide the way forward for the industry.

"The reform of the sugar industry under the Deloitte Report ends in December this year and the SAP will dovetail into the reform agenda which will expire at the end of the year.

"This SAP will be the way forward for the sugar industry from 2013 onwards," he said

Lt-Col Vaniqi, however, added that the reform agenda could be extended, given the significant improvements to the industry in a relatively short time.

"The sugar reform physically ends in December this year but government could decide to extend the reform if it needs to.

"When we took over the mills in 2010, the Fiji Sugar Corporation was in debt to the tune of $175 million and we have managed to reduce this in 2011 to $36 million.

"People said the government should have sold FSC because of the high costs of operation and the high debt level.

"But through the reform we have managed to reduce costs and debt and we are looking at reducing these even further this year," he added.


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