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New body will have fewer members

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 20, 2009) – In Fiji, a new body, to replace the abolished Sugar Cane Growers Council, will be formed before year end with fewer members, says Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary Manasa Vaniqi.

According to Vaniqi, the 38 SCGC councilors were issued termination letters because the council had become a financial liability to the Government.

"It’s part of the government reform," said Vaniqi.

"It is also part of cost cutting and making the sugar industry more efficient."

Vaniqi told FijiLive that the Attorney General’s Office is in the process of setting up the new body.

Government is still to decide on the number of members for the new council. He confirms, though, that there will be lesser members than its predecessor and that none of the 38 terminated councilors will be reappointed.

The State had said earlier this year that political bickering within the council only added to problems in the ailing sugar industry.

The cane growers council was established in 1984 to protect and further the interests of registered sugarcane farmers.

The councilors were elected every three years with councilors representing each of the 38 sectors of Fiji's sugar industry.

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