Karan clarifies $4m sugar payout

SUGAR Ministry permanent secretary Yogesh Karan has clarified that Government’s $4 million payout to 10,000 sugarcane farmers last week was a continuation of the $10m aid package made in May last year for growers affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“When we made the $10 million available to the canefarmers who were victims of TC Winston, some growers missed out, some did not get the full amount because we did not have the budget and some had deductions made,” he explained.

“So this payment, as announced by the prime minister, is to ensure that all farmers receive assistance.

“I have given instructions to the Fiji Sugar Corporation that no deductions are to be made from this payment.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced on Thursday a special cane payment to assist growers as part of the TC Winston Relief payout as allocated in the 2017-2018 National Budget.

He said almost 10,000 cane growers would benefit from the $4m payment.

Mr Bainimarama said after careful reassessment of the payout formula, it was determined that about 15 per cent of growers had already benefited from the full maximum payment made in May last year.

Under the payout made yesterday, he said thousands more growers would receive either full or partial payment to finalise Government’s payout process under its TC Winston aid program.

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