FIJI SHIPPING CONTRACTS REVEALED

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Apr. 6) - Some shipping companies have started signing contracts after winning tenders for shipping subsidies.

But the Fiji Shipping Corporation chairman Malcolm Harrison said a formal announcement over which operators were successful would not be made until all subsidy contracts were signed.

He could not put a time frame on when the announcement would be made, blaming shipping operators for the delay.

A list of franchise winners is on the notice board of the corporation's office.

Two companies have already signed the contracts to service the northern Lau group for a subsidy of $12,000 (US$7,168) a month.

The companies are Saliabasaga Shipping and Khans Shipping.

Shipping Corporation chief executive Waqa Ledua said Khan's Shipping did not have a boat at present and had been given two weeks to find one.

It is understood that the subsidy for northeast Vanua Levu went to Lalavata Shipping at $5,000 a month and to Waikava Marine at $7,000 (US$4,181) a month.

Paradise Shipping director Durga Prasad said the corporation already had a list of tender winners, which included $12,000 a month given to both Saliabasaga and Western Shipping for the upper southern Lau group.

He said the list had Khan's Shipping and Waikava Marine on a franchise of $12,000 a month to operate in the lower southern Lau group.

Kadavu Shipping has been given $8,000 (US$4,779) a month to service the province, with Venu Shipping to receive $7,500 (US$4,480) a month for the same area.

Western Shipping and Lalavata Shipping were awarded the franchise of $8,000 a month for services in the Yasawa group.

Venu Shipping and Ikavuka have been awarded the franchise for the Lomaiviti Group.

Kadavu Shipping will continue to service Rotuma at $12,000 a month while Western Shipping will also service the island and receive a monthly fee of $10,000.

In total, the Government would pay out around $1.7 million (US$418,180) for the scheme, however the 2005 Budget only allocated $1.2m.

April 7, 2005

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