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Fiji Time: 4:20 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Miller's offer for cane lorry operators

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, February 22, 2013

CANE lorry operators will be given an unprecedented opportunity to upgrade their existing vehicles or purchase new ones once the Fiji Sugar Corporation takes over road transportation of harvested crop by next season.

FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said apart from streamlining operations in terms of cane supply, lorry operators would also be able to use their long-term lease contracts from FSC to purchase new vehicles.

"Rather than going out and buying trucks, the FSC will enter into long-term contracts with current operators, which is a mutually beneficial arrangement," Mr Khan said.

"For the FSC, this means that we will be better able to organise the logistics of cane supply and for lorry owners, they will be able to use the contracts to go to any commercial lending facility and obtain a loan," he said.

"At the moment, a number of lorry operators struggle on an annual basis to get their vehicle road worthy and this is one way that they would be able to improve their vehicle.

"Rather than telling lorry owners that the problem was theirs alone, what we are going to do will provide them with an unprecedented opportunity to upgrade their vehicles while ensuring cane delivery will be optimised at the same time," he added.

Mr Khan also said a new transport hire levy system would also be implemented, which would be more transparent and fair for cane growers in the country.

Fiji Cane Lorry Operators Association president Mahendra Prasad said once implemented, the scheme would greatly benefit vehicle owners.