Fiji Time: 2:49 PM on Friday 28 July

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

NFP issues challenge

Losalini Bolatagici
Saturday, July 30, 2016

NATIONAL Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad challenged Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Voreqe Bainimarama to tell members of the public what lies and misinformation NFP was accused of telling farmers about the Reform of the Sugar Cane Industry and Sugar Cane Growers Fund (Amendment) Bills.

He made this challenge in a press conference yesterday in reply to comments made by the PM during the roadshow this week.

Prof Prasad accused the FijiFirst Government of feeding the canegrowers and ordinary citizens with "sugar coated" misinformation and quick fix solutions.

"What lies have we told farmers? They are the ones who are not being truthful," said Prof Prasad.

He said Government should stop the blame game and concentrate on improving the industry, adding the PM's consultations and "blame game" were a campaign stunt.

"I am not worried about the next election. I think he (PM) is worried. He is blaming everyone but them," he said.

Prof Prasad said of serious concern was the fact that the roadshow usurped the role and work of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economic Affairs that was tasked by the Speaker to scrutinise the new sugar laws.

"The Bills are still before the committee, which has two rounds of public consultations and is yet to deliberate and finalise its report. Apart from usurping the role of the committee, Government is also pre-empting the recommendations of the committee. This is the unmistakable fact.

"If FijiFirst wanted to make submissions on what it preferred, it should have made submissions on the Bills to the committee. Once again the parliamentary process has been undermined."

Dr Prasad said it was wrong to blame former prime minister Laisenia Qarase's government for bungling an $85 million loan from Exim Bank of India.

Mr Bainimarama claimed this resulted in more than 50 per cent of it being wasted and 50 per cent used on failed upgrade works.

Prof Prasad said Mr Qarase had negotiated the loan in 2005 during his State visit to India, but most of the money was used by FSC under the stewardship of Mr Bainimarama's military government.

This, he said, could be easily verified from the FSC's annual reports. Questions sent to Mr Bainimarama remained answered when this edition went to press last night.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.63200.6130
JPY 56.598553.5985
GBP 0.38360.3756
EUR 0.43070.4187
NZD 0.67860.6456
AUD 0.63490.6099
USD 0.50480.4878



Exchange Rate updated on 28th, July, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Rabuka: Media just playing its role in informing public
  2. Parties defend reports
  3. People will 'judge'
  4. Police continue work on murder cases
  5. Karunaratne: Times should be applauded
  6. Chaudhry: Media has the right to report OAG findings
  7. Power-packed event
  8. Right to breastfeed
  9. Procedure in place

Top Stories this Week

  1. I am my brother's keeper Thursday (27 Jul)
  2. How the first Tui Cakau was named Monday (24 Jul)
  3. The killer caught Tuesday (25 Jul)
  4. 'The Providers' Tuesday (25 Jul)
  5. Police detain chief Sunday (23 Jul)
  6. Touched by Times' story, anonymous donor helps student Wednesday (26 Jul)
  7. Ravulo leaves his mark Thursday (27 Jul)
  8. $300m query Wednesday (26 Jul)
  9. 48% of students surveyed had sex before 14 Tuesday (25 Jul)
  10. Man loses legs at jetty Wednesday (26 Jul)